Microsoft Healthcare Bot is a scalable Azure-based cloud solution that authorizes Microsoft customers and partners to build and deploy acquiescent, AI-powered virtual health assistants and chatbots, allowing them to offer their users intelligent, personalized access to health-related information and interactions through a natural conversation experience and can further be used to enhance their processes, self-service, and cost reduction efforts. Research project for the same was started in 2017 and Microsoft made its Healthcare Bot largely available in February 2019.
The Healthcare Bot comes with integrated natural language understanding NLP and healthcare AI services, including a symptom checker and medical content from known industry resources to understand the users’ intent and provide accurate information. Users can interact with the chatbot through text or voice in a self-service mode. Interestingly, all these Healthcare Bot can easily be customized to suit an organization’s environments and conventions.
Although each Healthcare Bot is highly customizable and extensible and easy to manage, the Healthcare Bot Service is built with a wide range of out-of-the-box features which will also give AI an enormous opportunity to use intelligent Healthcare bot instances to make healthcare more efficient. Fascinatingly, all the information and data controlled by each instance of the Healthcare Bot Service is being privacy protected to HIPAA standards and secured to the highest standards for privacy and security by Microsoft.
How it can be used during COVID-19?
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is one of the worst pandemics the world is facing. Of the many ways that the pandemic is making us rethink our humanity, none is more important, or urgent, than the overall protection of humanity. Microsoft is continuing to step up its internal and external efforts to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus through Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot which runs on Azure. Microsoft announced that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is using Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service to empower its own COVID-19 assessment bot! (as reported by Microsoft in its Delivering information and eliminating bottlenecks with CDC’s COVID-19 assessment bot blog on March 20, 2020) The CDC’s COVID-19 bot as meant to quickly assess symptoms and risk factors and suggest the next course of action which can be seeing a doctor or just staying at home.
In addition to providing the bot services to CDC and other health care companies, Microsoft is also making several COVID-19 response templates available to customers which they can easily modify to create their own Healthcare Bot for Covid-19 using their technical and more specifically their medical skills.
These can or may include a COVID-19 risk assessment based on CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines or may even include COVID-19 clinical triage based on CDC standards and protocols or can have COVID-19 answers to frequently asked questions and COVID-19 worldwide metrics.
These Healthcare bots made by customers or users will empower the Microsoft BOT framework to aid healthcare organizations to reduce risks that the additional foot traffic can have in increasing infection between healthy and infected COVID-19 individuals. To assist in deploying the reference architecture, Microsoft has developed an ARM template for the users to use and make their own AI-powered health agents. The step by step instruction to deploy and configure the reference architecture can be found on the following link:
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