Microsoft Teaches Azure Health Bot New Languages, Expands to 8 New Regions
Microsoft is bringing its Azure Health Bot platform to new regions and adding more languages. The health-focused conversational AI platform is in eight new regions, and the symptom checker can now run in 16 additional languages.
Azure Health Bot is a platform for building conversational AI chatbots and voice assistants for discussing healthcare on behalf of healthcare providers. The bots come with natural language processing and built-in medical databases which can then be augmented by a provider with personal information or specialized knowledge. The AI created with the Health Bot can also be made to comply with HIPAA and other rules without much extra effort.
The Health Bot is now available across much more of the globe, with ten total regions across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and India. The India Central region was added to the list specifically because of the rising tide of COVID-19 cases in the country. Azure expansion for the Health Bot is linguistic as well as geographic. The symptom checker facet of the platform can now communicate with patients in 16 more languages, obliterating the English-specific nature of the feature.
“A unique feature of the Azure Health Bot, the symptom checker contains healthcare information about conditions, doctors, and medications. It can be further tailored to your needs by extending the experience for a custom scenario,” Mircosoft explained in a blog post. “Once non-English speaking users or patients input their medical complaint, the Health Bot leverages neural machine translation from Azure Cognitive Services to extract the starting symptoms. It then provides the triage content in the user or patient’s native language.”
There’s an incredibly high demand for health-based AI chatbots, especially after the spread of COVID-19. For instance, more than 30 million people have used the Indian government’s MyGov Corona Helpdesk WhatsApp chatbot since it debuted, making it the most-used WhatsApp chatbot ever. The health ministry and MyGov worked with Haptik to build the Hindi and English chatbot in the early days of the pandemic as a channel for sharing information to Indian citizens about COVID-19 and the health measures undertaken to stop its spread.
Coronavirusfueled the growth of many chatbots and voice assistants, like Orbita’s interactive AI and dental software developer Awrel’s chatbot. Microsoft Azure helped indirectly in some cases, including as the platform supporting the omnichannel virtual assistant platform created by Nuance. That presumably won’t change despite Microsoft announcing plans to acquire Nuance.