DURBAN – Coronavirus symptoms can vary widely, some people have no symptoms at all, while others become so sick that they eventually need mechanical assistance to breathe.
The risk of developing dangerous symptoms of Covid-19 may be increased in people who are older and also in people of any age who have other serious health problems such as heart or lung conditions, weakened immune systems, severe obesity, or diabetes.
A new automated Chatbot system has been developed to ensure the safety of high-risk chronic patients during this uncertain period in the Western Cape. Aviro Health, a health-tech startup has partnered with The Western Cape Government Department of Health to create an automated Chatbot application system that utilises WhatsApp to confirm the delivery of chronic medication to patients’ homes.
“The Department wanted a system that would respond to high-risk chronic patient queries timeously and to give people peace of mind that their medication will be delivered to their homes. The system also allows our high-risk healthcare workers the opportunity to assist clients with their queries without placing their lives in danger as well,” said Mohamed Sonday, Pharmacist at Mitchells Plain Hospital
The Chatbot platform allows users to confirm existing appointments with their healthcare professionals or facilities, reducing the risk of vulnerable patients waiting in long queues. The ‘soft launch’ of the Chatbot took place in May with 700 users accessing the platform and over 500 successfully receiving chronic medication orders.
“Together with the Department, we are looking at ways to improve the chatbot so that it can be responsive and better serve users who are accessing it to make requests for their loved ones and fellow community members. The tool is clearly of value, but we want to make sure that we are reaching patients where they are. We are looking forward to launching additional features in the future such as, offering the service in multiple languages and supporting users in booking appointments,” said Lyanne Mapani, Product Manager at Aviro Health.
Potential users of the Chatbox platform can simply join by adding the following number, 087 240 6122 to their mobile phones and send a message saying “hi” to start the WhatsApp Chatbot conversation.Users must have their ID, folder number, the name of the attending health care facility, and home address before accessing the Chatbot.
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