New York (The Verge) — CDC uses Microsoft healthcare chatbot service to create coronavirus symptom checker theverge.com/2020/3/21/2118….
The Coronavirus Self Checker chatbot asks a series of questions based on CDC guidelines about coronavirus symptoms and risk factors and suggests next steps, including whether to self-isolate, consult with a telehealth professional, or visit an emergency room.
The CDC’s chatbot provides links to more information and local health department contacts, but does not have information about coronavirus testing sites. It also does not diagnose or give treatment plans other than general advice such as “stay home and take care of yourself” or “call 911.” The bot appears to be a possible way to reassure the so-called “worried well” that their symptoms likely don’t require medical attention, which in turn can free up doctors and emergency rooms for patients who are legitimately ill with the coronavirus.
The chatbot runs on Microsoft Azure, but the CDC owns and maintains the tool and does not share any personal information users enter into the bot with Microsoft, according to Nextgov. — Kim Lyons/@verge