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Health Tech: CDC COVID-19 Chatbot

Can a chatbot screen you for Coronavirus? The CDC says “Yes!”

With the Coronavirus pandemic, lots of people are worried about whether or not they are infected but it’s hard to know for sure. Tests can be difficult to obtain, and healthcare professionals are swamped with requests for information. Fortunately, artificial intelligence is here to help.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched an online Coronavirus Self-Checker. It is hosted by a chatbot named Clara who steps you through a series of questions that are guided by artificial intelligence. At the end, the bot will make a recommendation, such as treat yourself at home, or seek medical care.

The system runs on the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform, and is built using Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service. By automating this front line screening function this way, it frees up healthcare professionals to deal with patients who are already acutely ill from the virus or some other health problem. This reduces the strain on our healthcare systems, and helps contribute to better outcomes for us all.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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