Microsoft Azure powers CDC Covid-19 assessment bot

Microsoft Azure powers CDC Covid-19 assessment bot
Solution uses AI to determine who must be treated and prevent healthcare bottlenecks

Elly Yates-Roberts |

The United States’ health protection agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a Covid-19 assessment bot powered by Microsoft’s Azure-based Healthcare Bot service. The solution, which is available on the CDC website, aims to provide citizens with medical information about the virus and how to self-care to prevent health systems from being overwhelmed. 

According to a recent Microsoft blog post, the bot can assess the symptoms and risk factors for those worried about infection, and suggest a next course of action such as contacting a medical provider or managing the illness safely at home.

Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot services uses artificial intelligence to help organisations such as the CDC to determine who must be treated in a medical facility, freeing up medical staff to provide care to those in need. 

Other healthcare providers have also deployed the bot service to mitigate the impact of Covid-19. The city of Providence, Rhode Island, built a Coronavirus Assessment Tool to help communities make informed decisions over whether to seek medical attention for their symptoms. It can put patients in touch with clinicians via video for immediate care and aims to prevent healthy individuals from attending clinics and potentially spreading the infection. 

Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service is now receiving over one million messages each day about the virus. “We hope the answers it can provide will curb anxiety that the ‘worried well’ may experience without clear guidance and save lives by speeding the path to care for those who need it most,” wrote Hadas Bitran, group manager at Microsoft Healthcare Israel and Jean Gabarra, general manager of Health AI, in the blog post. 

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