Medical facilities use Microsoft Healthcare Bot to fight Covid-19

Medical facilities use Microsoft Healthcare Bot to fight Covid-19
Azure-based service reduces staff workload, facilitating better care for sick patients

Elly Yates-Roberts |

According to a recent Microsoft article by Deborah Bach, medical facilities around the world are using Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot to effectively combat Covid-19. The Microsoft Azure-based service uses artificial intelligence to respond to citizens’ queries, thereby reducing the workload of medical staff and facilitating better care for sick patients. 

One such organisation was Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Copenhagen, which uses the bot service to screen people for potential coronavirus infection and treatment. 

“A virtual assistant seemed like a great option to decrease the load on the workforce,” said Freddy Lippert, CEO of EMS Copenhagen and medical doctor. “Not only can it handle much more volume than the call centre, it can run a symptom checker and identify high-risk patients according to medical protocols in the same way medical staff would, directing those in need to a ‘warm handover’ with a human.”

Since March, health organisations have created 1,230 Covid-19 self-assessment bots based on the Microsoft solution, which have reached 18 million individuals. 

“The coronavirus pandemic is putting unprecedented demands on health care systems and workers globally,” says Hadas Bitran, head of the Healthcare Bot team at Microsoft. “Bots can help alleviate some of that pressure by addressing queries from patients and helping them with information about possible next steps if they have symptoms of Covid-19.”

The Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, Italy and Helsinki University Hospital in Finland also used the service to create bots to address the growing number of requests for information about the virus, and help people manage their anxiety.  

“We’re grateful to be able to help health care organisations quickly offer their communities and patients a Covid-19 self-assessment bot based on the Microsoft Healthcare Bot service,” said Bitran. “As a technology company, it’s critical for us to provide solutions that can help patients and clinical teams in the fight against this global health crisis.”

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