Ministry of Public Health Introduces Covid-19 Health Bot to Citizens in Lebanon

A medical doctor analysing patient data on a holographic device.

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in Lebanon has announced the roll out of a Covid-19 Health bot solution for citizens.

The Bot has been developed by trakMD in collaboration with Microsoft, the Epidemiological Surveillance and E-Health teams of MoPH in accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Powered by Microsoft Azure, the Bot has an inbuilt symptom checker which simulates six scenarios allowing the people to take self-assessments to screen for potential infections. The Bot has the capability to identify high risk patients aligned with the medical procedures and those are directed for further consultation and treatment in hospital facilities.

“As we observe the guidelines shared by WHO, we are keen to deploy virtual services such as the Healthcare Bot to our citizens to ensure safety for our medical workers and maintain service continuity to the nation”. The Bot will support in providing the right information on Covid-19 to people providing widespread access to accurate information” noted Mrs. Lina Abou Mrad, Director of National E-Health Program, Ministry of Public Health Lebanon.

The Microsoft Healthcare Bot service is a cloud service that empowers healthcare organisations to build and deploy AI-powered virtual health assistants and chatbots that can be used to enhance their processes, self-service and cost optimization efforts. The Bot also comes with built-in healthcare AI services, including a symptom checker and medical content from known industry resources, and language understanding models that are tuned to understand medical and clinical terminology.

“In times like these, it is not only important to deliver speedy medical services but  also crucial to couple that with technology that  offers our partners in hospitals and health care Institutions to make timely decisions. Microsoft Health Bot has been designed for this purpose and we hope to empower the health sector and the public with this technology to manage the pandemic”, said Roula Chehab, Country Manager, Microsoft Lebanon & Jordan.

Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service has been used by health care organizations for more than a year and was originally designed to support common virtual health assistant scenarios. With the rise of Coronavirus cases across the globe threatening to overwhelm health care systems, organizations in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East have been using the tool to help screen patients for potential COVID-19 infection. In most of these markets, the bot received thousands of inquiries reducing the load on the healthcare system but mostly giving more time to the frontline worker to focus on patients that need critical care and providing accurate information.

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