Perficient Intros Azure, Non-Azure Coronavirus Healthcare Chatbots

The solution provider is offering two chatbot solutions to healthcare organizations and workers, both of which follow CDC guidelines around the COVID-19 coronavirus guidelines, with one focused on Microsoft Azure cloud users and one built on Drift.


Solution provider and digital consultant Perficient on Monday introduced two healthcare chatbot solutions targeting healthcare organizations and workers looking to provide care in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The new solutions come as healthcare organizations are looking to chatbots and artificial intelligence to be part of an integrated alternative to in-person clinical services, the St. Louis-based solution provider said.

Perficient introduced two chatbot solutions based on Center for Disease Control, or CDC, guidelines to its healthcare vertical clients, said Christine Livingston, managing director of the company's A.I. practice.

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The first is a new COVID-19 coronavirus-specific version of the Microsoft Healthbot service, a cloud-based conversational A.I. platform purpose-built for the healthcare industry.

The Microsoft Healthbot service, which is based on the Microsoft Azure platform, features templates for such things as checking symptoms, triage, and screening for mental health, along with COVID-19-specific templates for things like self-assessment and frequently-asked questions, Livingston told CRN. It blends custom scenarios with CDC content, she said.

"For the last one-and-a-half months, we've been working with the CDC on COVID-19 assessments, screening, FAQs, and metrics so healthcare customers can be up and running as quick as they can log into their Azure portal," she said.

Because Perficient knows not all its clients have rapid access to Microsoft Azure, the company also built a separate healthcare bot service based on Drift's open source conversational marketing and sales platform, Livingston said.

"This also follows the same CDC guidelines, but was built specifically by Perficient," she said. "Both do similar things, and offer assessments based on CDC guidelines. But the Microsoft Healthbot service has more capabilities. If a client does not use Azure, they can use the Perficient version."

Both are currently available with very low pricing, Livingston said, although she declined to provide pricing details. However, she said, there are special programs in place to offset costs keeping in consideration the current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.