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India Launches a Protocol Bot for its Citizens to Tackle COVID-19

Sutra, an initiative by the smart healthcare division of government advisory firm Sapio Analytics, has introduced a national chat bot for the citizens of India.

NEW DELHI, DELHI, INDIA, June 3, 2021 / -- Say Hi to +91 7977358349 on Whatsapp and chat with an artificial intelligent bot that guides you through the protocols of COVID-19 as a patient or a caregiver to the patient. Designed through inputs of medical doctors associated with Sutra and protocols provided by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), this bot recommends the steps a patient should take in the situation of COVID-19 concerns.

Developed by Sapio Smart Healthcare, a division of government advisory firm Sapio Analytics, under its initiative Sutra, the bot interacts with the citizens and recommends them preventive treatments along with guidance to reach the right doctors if the need is such. "This helps in reducing stress on the healthcare infrastructure of India, by ensuring only serious patients come to the hospital and are guided in the right manner", says Ashwin Srivastava, CEO of Sapio Analytics, around the purpose of the bot.

"The second wave of India required us to re-look at our infrastructure readiness. We hope future waves of COVID-19 are restricted, but our research has shown the possibility of a new wave in the younger and minor population of India, though we are working towards restriction of the same. If that happens, we need to be ready to make sure that our citizens understand what they should be doing and not panic. This is where this bot becomes useful. It can guide one on whether they need to meet a doctor or not, and the kind of preventive procedures one needs to apply based on their specific situations. The suggestions provided by the bot are recommendatory in nature, and we wish to provide telemedicine support through the bot as well, using our network of doctors around the world", adds Srivastava.

Whatsapp is increasingly being used by governments in India for interaction with its citizens. Recently, a Government of India body had launched a national employment support and skill guidance bot called Saksham, that uses Whatsapp to speak to the blue collared workers of India.

Sutra, the initiative steered by officers and advisors from the Government of India, has been focused on plasma management across India and also works with the doctors in remote India, by providing them a doctors' protocol bot for COVID-19. It plans to manage other needs such as blood and food in the near future. It was recently in news for appointing Nitesh Kumar Sahu, a National Youth Awardee by the Government of India, as its outreach ambassador.

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