20 March 2020 | News
The initiative that has been launched in partnership with the Government of Goa
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Portea Medical which is a home healthcare company, in partnership with Verloop, a Customer Support and Engagement Automation Platform has announced the launch of Cobot-19 Information and Awareness Chatbot.
The initiative that has been launched in partnership with the Government of Goa comes at a time when the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged private players to harness technology to tackle the ongoing health crisis.
The Cobot-19 will disseminate information related to coronavirus through data gathered from trusted sources including the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Johns Hopkins.
Portea’s experts have further reviewed the information to ensure that only authentic, helpful and easy-to-understand information is shared with the general public. Verloop has developed the technical aspects of the Chatbot.
Speaking on the launch, Vishwajit P. Rane, Minister of Health, Government of Goa said, “We are happy to launch Cobot-19 as a one-stop source of information for our citizens on COVID-19 and its various aspects. We are the first state in the country to take up an initiative at this scale and our aim is to resolve the confusion caused by countless advisories from different sources as well as rumors. Taking inspiration from how the Singapore Government harnessed the power of WhatsApp recently, we have created this Chatbot as a unified official point of communication for all Covid-19 related information. It is revolutionary and will be an effective interface to stem the flow of misinformation and clear doubts around the disease. We thank Portea Medical and Verloop for their support.”
With the Cobot-19, people will be able to resolve their queries around precautions to be taken to avoid getting infected, diet to boost immunity, health department contact information in case of emergency, among other things.
Speaking about this, Meena Ganesh, MD and CEO, Portea Medical, said, “In a country like India, which is home to a population of over 100 million senior citizens who are especially vulnerable; timely dissemination of verified information, education and avoiding fake news are a must during a public health emergency. The Cobot-19 is our attempt at dispelling myths and ensuring that people stay aware of the latest developments in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic and know who to approach. We are the only country after Singapore to have launched such a Chatbot at this scale and if successful, we aim to replicate it at the national level as well. We thank the Government of Goa and Verloop for their support”.
Adding his comments, Gaurav Singh, Founder, Verloop, said, “During a health crisis, people always look for verified sources of information. With the Cobot-19, they will be able to get access to comprehensive details about COVID-19, how they can avoid it, what preventive measures are to be taken, and a list of helpline numbers they can refer to. WhatsApp is used by many to propagate fake news, but we aim to utilize the same interface to stem the flow of misinformation and clear doubts around the disease.”
The bot is available in English and Konkani currently.