A Conversational AI raised 50,000 Egyptians awareness about COVID-19, aspires to be everyone's personal health companion and awareness spreading tool, with the initial focus of COVID-19
Karim Wahby, Eslam Hamed, Ahmed Mahmoud
The whole world is at war with Corona virus, each single individual is contributing to either limit the spread of corona and flattening the curve, or is unconsciously helping corona to get more victims. Thus we need to have everyone in the side of anti-spreading the virus, as every person actions no matter how small it's, will help humanity flattening the curve. Awareness is the prime shield for humanity against Corona virus.
Main pain points
- Since humanity is still on the process of creating the vaccine, we need to socially engineer our behavior to act like a social vaccine, and proactively spread this message to all of humanity.
- The qualified medical people are not enough with the current spreading curve to safely communicate 1-on-1 with everyone that is suspected to have the virus or wants to be checked for reassurance.
- Overtime, if a checked person had a physical communication with people suspected or have the virus, they will need to be rechecked and monitored overtime to see if they got the infection.
- People are not fully aware of corona symptoms and signals that when they start to pop-up in them or they beloved ones, they had to take the proper actions towards this symptoms, that includes who to communicate with? How to interact with infected person? and what medications they need to avoid?
- Faster reaction to the new information about the virus is a must.
- Proactively reaching out to people, through the platforms that they are spending a lot of time on, using a Chatbot in their native tongue
- since that the physical social communication is compromised, we need to: - Inform people about how to take precautions measures, home quarantine, when to use the mask, etc... - make sure that everyone who needs to be tested is actually being monitored over time, and since we don't have enough medical resources to do so, we've implemented the WHO guide lines to resolve main stream cases using the Chatbot, (AKA a better pre-primary case service to make sure our medical resources is being utilized to it's fullest) - Clustering the unanswered questions that people ask, and tackling the most frequently asked questions first to spread awareness faster. - turning the medical care service from an reactive service to a proactive service by matching the patient with the available medical resource. - leveraging all the data that is being collected on the platform to show relevant statistics to people and organizations that in turn would help them better understand the situation.
What are our actions?
We are building Nameesa, which is an AI powered conversational and personal engagement platform that automatically responds to people inquiries about Coronavirus (COVID-19) with information from credible sources such as WHO and Ministry of Health. Nameesa is developed and operated by DXwand Corporation. Nameesa a multilingual platform and currently engages in English and Arabic with Egyptian slang as well. And developing COVID-19 Triage tool, live statistics and proactive personalized patient follow-ups.
How we built it
We have used our own AI powered NLP (Arabic and Latin based languages) engine that includes custom and named entity extraction, intent classification and clustering, Co-reference resolution and normalization to extract information and data that after extraction are being analyzed and visualized to take better educated decisions.
Challenges we ran into
We are having a financial challenge to consistently and continuously run the platform with exponential increase of conversations we recently had that surpassed 46,000 engagements in less than two weeks. We were able to expand a bit our azure resources to cater for this unforeseen surge while though we cannot achieve sustainability of the platform with our bootstrapping.
Also due to our proactive messaging to people on Facebook to keep them posted on the situation of COVID-19, and following up on their situation and symptoms, Facebook administration banned our Chatbot which could disrupt any health care organization effort to proactively keep in touch with the patients or suspected patients.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We helped thousands in each and every region of Egypt get full awareness of COVID-19, protection and spreading threats. Our community reached 46,000, the Bot service conversed with thousands and increased its knowledge base by %766 in less than two weeks. That traction also got attention of some local PR and media agencies such as:
- Al Ahram (A National Government Newspaper) News Paper : Attached
- Cairoscene: https://bit.ly/2UKQJhD
- Nile FM: https://bit.ly/3dzyJQ3
- Fasla Online: https://bit.ly/3byNwZu
- Zawya: https://bit.ly/2QPYa6f
What we learned
As we embraced an open question approach for Nameesa, the knowledge base developed with time and we learnt more about what actually the public is looking for, concerns and the development/ changes of those perceptions over time.
What's next for Ask Nameesa
That said, a major concern extracted with AI was the fear of having symptoms and lack of assessment for individuals at a mass scale due to healthcare limited resources. Therefore, we are final testing stage of launching a self-assessment and tracking dialog to triage, track and assess each individual case and proactively engage public health provider proactively when need be according to healthcare provider protocol.
Due to expansion of communities we serve, we will need to add Voice as a conversation channel instead of only texting to support other communities with special needs.