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This is How Chatbots are providing COVID-19 Information Every Day

Chandrapal Singh By Chandrapal Singh | May 27, 2020
chatbots work in pandemic

The novel coronavirus pandemic outbreak occurred in the modern, connected, and informative dense world. But sending up-to-date information about the spread is definitely challenging. 

Every domain globally is figuring out the best way to communicate with their potential customers as the physical location is closed for a time being. Call centers are closed amid the spread of novel coronavirus. 

Luckily, to surmount the situation, the use of AI chatbots has begun. These intelligent bots are not just helping in communicating with the customers but also notifying them of the spread. 

Chatbots which were once the feature of PWA application, mobile application, or any other service, are now an integral part of them. 

Definitely, these AI bots can fill the gap between the organization and the users. They can effectively reply or answer the queries of the customers in one go to millions of them. 

Surely, the coronavirus outbreak is demonstrating how valuable automated technology can be for brands working under this time of crisis like us. Today, the maximum number of organizations are taking the leverage from the many years and now actively using it for further information. 

Why Bots are Highly Effective during this Pandemic

chatbots used in pandemic

All the information at one place and easy to update

Things are changing very fast in this pandemic situation, and hence it is important to render the information to the public at that given moment. When sharing the information with the bot, making required edits and updates is easy. Here, you won’t be required to contact the website developer each time or use social media aggressively for per-second detail. 

It takes seconds to make changes into the messenger bot whereas the content will still be saved and instantly available to the users in no time.

Reduction in staff strength

There is no denial that currently, hospitals and medical staff are bombarded with calls, emails, and walk-in from concerned citizens regarding novel coronavirus. The situation can be easily handled through AI chatbots. These chatbots can easily answer basic FAQs while sharing information with people without human assistance and intervention.

Read Also- the role of chatbots in enterprises for streamline working

Messenger bots are easy to use

There are a plethora of applications available with the bot. This implants that users are familiar with the usage of chatbots. Hence, a messenger bot is relatively frictionless, not so difficult to use even for first-time users. Also, chatbots will easily converse in a back and forth style- making them more manageable, less stressful. These bots hence can make users receive critical information at ease.

Bots are easy to build

Conversational bots who can revert back and forth as per the user’s questioning are challenging to develop. The usage of robust technology like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning plays an important role here. But creating a bot is still easy when comparing the situation with the outside world. Hence, we here at Appventurez do develop chatbots development solutions in order to help organizations and hospitals to offer instant information to the users without any physical requirements.

When this was about the need for chatbots in this current pandemic situation. Now, it is time to figure out how chatbots are providing information to the people globally eliminating the need for human interaction, intervention, and assistance. 

Let’s understand- 

How Chatbots are Providing Information during a Pandemic

The pandemic today has showcased how technology can still connect people to others without the need to appear physically. Chatbots and robotic technologies are the biggest examples today. 

By focusing on the chatbot technology, here is how chatbots are offering information-

chatbots providing information in pandemic

Dissemination of Information

The pandemic today has made people confused about their current situation. Even the smallest change in their health can be alarming. This resulted in two issues – firstly if they do less about the current health situation, the risk of infection might increase. Secondly, if they visit the medical center, this can overburden the healthcare system, wasting resources too if not detected.

Hence, to stop such issues, a reliable source of information is required. Hence, an AI-based chatbot can help in informing people, if they are symptomatic or not. Also, chatbots can hear and respond in natural languages too, offering ease to those who cannot read and have difficulty interacting. The bots are available 24*7 answering questions with up-to-date information that too in local languages or dialects.

If not fully, these bots can certainly make people aware of their current situation without making them panic. 

Monitoring of symptoms

Novel coronavirus spread has taken more than 329,739 lives along with 5,090,157 leaving with positive symptoms. Hence, the situation has made both individuals and institutions be aware of the infections. 

Healthcare institutions are required to have real-time data of the users detected with COVID-19 to further increase the arrangements required. On the other hand, people want notifications of any COVID-19 issues nearby. 

A chatbot in both situations can be found helpful. Chatbots today are well suited for symptom screening. Also, it has been researched that people are more willing to disclose their information to chatbots rather than sharing with other humans. 

The crucial role of chatbot in this pandemic situation can be validated as organizations like Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, & Tencent along with governmental agencies like CDC and non-governmental organizations like WHO have launched chatbots. These chatbots are helping in offering real-time information about COVID-19.

Behavior change support

It has been directed that frequent hand washing, social distancing, and mandatory measures can help in eliminating the risk of Novel coronavirus. 

Here the use of chatbot can be actionable just like the “drinking water reminders”. The AI, ML bots can help in offering step by step instructions along with tips & tricks for behavior change. 

These bots are capable of rendering behavioral support along with instructions for those who are working outside like healthcare professionals, essential service providers, and many more.

Home-based chatbots by linking users to third-party voice apps can support behavior by detecting skills or actions.

Mental health support

Being strong mentally in this pandemic is the need of the hour. This has been under-addressed as many people due to homesickness or any relatable issues are losing their mental health too.

Moving on the front line warriors like police, essential service providers are not trained for emergency psychological support whereas mental health practitioners are in short supply.

Here, again chatbots can help even though they cannot maintain human-like conversational interaction. But, by disclosing concerns & receiving emotional support responses can still help in this pandemic situation. If the bots are designed strategically and intelligently, they can lessen the long term harm of pandemic isolation like trauma, depression, anxiety. 

Patients at risk

Through chatbots, engagement delivered in the form of voice bots, SMS, Mobile devices, smart speakers, can provide educational, preparedness tips, and population-specific information to the people.

Apart from that, required notifications as per the individual conditions can also be delivered if designed properly. Those patients at risk can be given solutions to prevent and protect themselves from infection too. Organizations today are using these solutions for securing valuable data in order to monitor trends and requirements. 

Chatbots no doubt are quite in demand starting from recommendations, back and forth conversations to delivering information in real-time. And this is the reason, they have taken place in various domains. The domains today are taking the leverage of artificial intelligence and real-timeliness for communicating with the users without losing any connection with them. 

With it, let us figure out the domain chatbots are taken into- 

Fields where Chatbots have Entered

Governmental and healthcare system

Chatbots are best for delivering real-time information on behalf of the government or healthcare system about COVID-19 related information. The information rendered from chatbot will always be updated and available 24*7. 

Using it, people can ask for- 

  • Total number of cases in a specific zone
  • The shelter home for COVID patients
  • Quarantine centers
  • How does the virus spread
  • Where was the first case of COVID detected and many more,

In order to provide appropriate information, the chatbot development company can utilize the information from trusted sources like – World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, and many others.

Mental and financial cure

The need of the hour is to stay fit mentally and financially. This resulted in more number of people looking for solutions to stay healthy and sound at home. On the other hand, people are searching for ways to keep their financial and economic status intact. 

Check out- how financial apps simplify businesses

Hence, if your application somewhere renders the same information as to fitness tips or financial tricks, it is best to involve chatbots in this situation. By using chatbots, you can answer their queries at any time of the day. 

Meanwhile, if you are planning to invest in a financial application, here is how much cost of finance app development takes place. 

Restaurants

Understanding the requirement of this pandemic, restaurants today are converted into takeouts. The changes in the menu and operational hours are also quite obvious. Hence, making people aware of it for ordering purposes is also important. Meanwhile, small restaurants with few members on staff, it is challenging to attend the calls while getting the order ready. 

But this can be eliminated through a restaurant based application integrated with a simple chatbot. The chatbot can revert back with all the basic information about the change in menu, working hours, and other information. Instead of directing the call to the staff, a chatbot can answer the questions and connect to the real people whenever required. 

Retail

Role of artificial intelligence in the retail industry is glorious. Retailers amid the novel coronavirus pandemic are shifting their working hours of operations or no shipping due to closures. And notifying users about it is also important. 

Here chatbots can help in answering the customers regarding any information while being updated with other instant information. 

Volunteering

The surging graph of Novel coronavirus is not hidden from anyone but even in such a situation, there are people who are volunteering. To get started with the same, they want support and information like “how to help or volunteer”. 

To aid the cause, a simple chatbot can also be effective. A simple UI chatbot can answer questions like how to help or volunteer to offer multiple ways. Not just this, chatbots are capable of informing the real-time metrics of the COVID19, to make one aware of what step to take next.

Now, there are well-known brands that are taking advantage of a chatbot to make people aware of COVID-19. 

Here is the list of brands- 

Brands using Chatbots for COVID-19

LivePerson

One of the first brands LivePerson is well known for conversational commerce software. 

The platform is powered by Artificial intelligence conversing with customers offering actual human interaction. As per LivePerson’s – 70% of the user queries are automated with its technology. The conversation can be made through digital channels like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, SMS, etc. 

Furthermore, other brands can also integrate the software of LivePerson into their websites and mobile applications. Till now, it has been used for more than 18,000 brands that include well-known names like IBM, Virgin Atlantic. 

Microsoft Clara

The tech giant, Microsoft worked with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention developed a bot called Clara. 

Clara, the bot is capable of asking users about their location along with the symptoms they are feeling. Furthermore, the bot also advises whether they should take medical help or not.

Plasma donation bot by Microsoft

Other than Clara, Microsoft has developed a new chatbot to help users recover from the virus determining whether they can donate a plasma or not. 

Said as CoVIg-19 Plasma Bot, it is designed to help patients before they can actually donate plasma to the person. The bot simply questions patients about their COVID-19 status and how long it has been since they had a negative test. 

Directly

Directly uses technology to understand automatically which customer query to be handled by subject matter experts. This will directly help businesses to deliver service at scale accordingly. 

Other than that, it Directly integrates into a plethora of messaging applications,  virtual agents, machine learning platforms, and CRM platforms. 

COBOT-19

Cobot-19 is one of the chatbots developed by the engagement automation and customer support platform called Verloop and a healthcare startup called Portea Medical.

The bot is designed for helping people gain COVID-19 Information- the data gathered from reliable sources WHO, CDC, Johns Hopkins University & Prevention. The bot can be operated through WhatsApp. 

These are a handful of bots and there are more in the line helping everyone across the globe to gain access to COVID-19 instant updates. 

Meanwhile, here are a few tips to get started with an AI-based chatbot if you are planning.

Tips to Design an AI-based Chatbot

The right approach

The pandemic has taken lakhs of lives and made millions at risk. Time today is quite serious, risky, and leveling up the stress, hence, make sure your bot respects the sensitivity of time. 

When doing that, make sure your content is also true to the value and does not bring panic or mislead someone. 

Updated chatbot

Coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone globally, the situation and graph is changing every second, make sure your bot is also getting updated accordingly or whenever required.

Ensure no data is old, as healthcare professionals along with essential service providers are also using the bot. 

Talk about it

Your AI-based chatbot is of no use if people are not interacting with it or have no idea of it.  Share the bot link through emails or using social media platforms, embed it to your website surely. 

Encourage people to use the chatbot as much as possible and keep returning to it for more information. 

Be responsible

Your chatbot will be representing your organization and your responsibilities towards the community. Hence, make sure the content you are fetching is true and does not involve any fakeness. 

Gather information from reliable sources like WHO, CDC, Prevention, and others. Your content is your responsibility, make sure the content you are providing is not creating havoc in the market. 

Talk about Bot

Time is crucial and almost every business and all domains are relying on technology to communicate with each other. Also, on the other hand, people want to have a source that can offer the required information regarding the pandemic. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are looking for solutions that can present information to users without human intervention. Hence, a chatbot is entering the ground!

It is seen as the right time to invest in chatbot development to keep users up to date of the second by second update of COVID-19. This is the time, you will be showcasing the potential of your ideology and a helping hand to people globally. 

Connect with our experts for more detailed information. 

Chandrapal Singh
Chandrapal Singh

A technocrat and an entrepreneur who is the Co-Founder and Chief Delivery Head at Appventurez. Skilled in object-oriented programming (OOP), iOS Development, Design Principles, Data Structures, and Swift, he has served different organizations as Tech Lead.

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