Sarah Wig writes articles for Investocracy News, a news and media platform focusing on startup news from Africa and Asia

Aviro Health has announced their partnership with the Western Cape Government Health Department to develop an automated chatbot application system via WhatsApp.
About Aviro

A design-focused health company, Aviro uses digital tools to design and implement mHealth interventions to address the challenges between patients and health workers. Since its launch in 2014, Aviro’s digital platform aims to improve healthcare accessibility by providing engaging, remote, and semi-automated support to patients. The start-up works with all healthcare facilities including NGOs, government, private & public sector ones.

Aviro app
Aviro app
About the chatbot

The chatbot enables delivery of chronic medication to patients at their homes. It also allows high-risk chronic patients to confirm their existing appointments with various healthcare facilities. As a result, patients with chronic diseases do not have to wait in queues for a long period of time. Therefore, the new system ensures less crowding and a more orderly queuing process. These steps are vital during the COVID-19 pandemic due to safety measures and an increase in demand for healthcare.

The chatbot is available to the residents of Cape Town. Since launching in May 2020, the chatbot has over 700 users with over 500 completed orders to receive chronic medication. In addition, 100 users have also requested call-backs from healthcare providers through the platform. The marketing strategy that seems to be working for Aviro Health is word of mouth of existing users.

Statements about the chatbot

Mohamed Sonday, Pharmacist at Mitchells Plain Hospital, said “The Department wanted a system that would respond to high-risk chronic patient queries timeously and give people peace of mind that their medication will be delivered to their homes. The system allows high-risk healthcare workers the opportunity to assist clients with queries without placing their lives in danger as well.”

Additionally, Mohamed also mentioned the benefit of chatbot during COVID-19 as it is an “easy way for patients to manage their health without increased risk” and also “simplifies the medication distribution process for staff at our healthcare facilities.”

In the span of one month, the Department has ensured the delivery of approximately 159,000 pre-packed chronic medication parcels. In addition, it has provided vulnerable patients with a 2-month supply of chronic medication.

Currently, they are looking for ways to improve the chatbot so that it can be responsive and more accessible. The chatbot will soon get additional features like offering the service in multiple languages and supporting users in booking appointments.

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