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Health Tech: Dubai Uses WhatsApp for COVID Vaccinations

The right tool for the job makes any task easier. But why is one country using WhatsApp for its vaccine appointments?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created enormous hardship worldwide, but the advent of effective vaccines offers hope that we will be able to get the virus under control. Unfortunately, vaccines do no good sitting in refrigerators. Many governments are struggling to get shots in arms to help protect their citizens. The Dubai Health Authority has taken a 21st Century approach to the problem. They have decided to go where their residents are: online. They have created a hotline using the popular WhatsApp smartphone app that can find the earliest available appointment for a shot. When the user selects a time and location, the app books the reservation. The user then receives a confirmation message. The chatbot can also provide up-to-date information about COVID. The service is completely free and is available around the clock, 24/7. Dubai’s population of nearly 10 million has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world; almost three out of four residents have already received at least one shot.

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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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