Users can use this chatbot which represent a species of “Online Doctor” that will help you to assess your symptoms.
Welcome to the future! Bing’s search results related to “corona”, “covid-19” and “coronavirus” now include the Coronavirus self checker which allows users to interact right from the search result page. Check it out here (non-US internet users may not be able to see the chatbot).
You can now assess your symptoms and receive doctor’s (or should I say chatbots) recommendations right from the comfort of your home. The bots name is Clara and it aims to relieve some strain on healthcare providers. You can use Clare to receive guidance and to improve the quality of your life.
Why is this interesting?
You may not think this is very exciting news, but you should keep in mind that Bing could apply this kind of feature to more contexts within search.
Additionally the coronavirus search term has been interesting because it gave us the opportunity to monitor every change in search engine result pages step by step, from the beginning up to this date.
What we noticed is that in less than 30 days the Google SERPs changed from brand results to one focused exclusively on the coronavirus outbreak. We have seen everything from bloggers singing about the coronavirus to a website that offered fake vaccines online for only $4.95 (don’t worry the DEA took this website down almost immediately).
About the Microsoft Chatbot
* The Microsoft chatbot was announced in March of 2020. On the Microsoft website they boost a lot about their healthbot, which will either tell you to stay at home in bed, call your healthcare provider if things worsen, or to immediately call 911. Personally I wasn’t too impressed but I guess the service is useful for hypochondriacs and those who think they are made of steel. I believe the average person knows when he or she is ill and in need of a doctor’s visit.
* The Microsoft chatbot is powered by Microsoft Azure and was developed to help screen patients on large scale for potential infections and care.
* What I call Microsoft’s chatbot is called their “Healthcare bot service”, and on one point we do agree, Microsoft’s Bill Gates has once again managed to find a niche market that can make him a lot of money.
According to Microsoft it’s healthcare bot service will free up doctors, nurses, administrators and other healthcare professionals, but in my opinion a chatbot is just not enough as some people don’t admit to having fever for example (or they are simply not aware and will describe it as not feeling so well), so in-person observations for sweating, attitude etc is key for an effective doctor’s consultation.
And while I will always be thankful to Microsoft for developing a buggy set of device drivers, I do not necessarily think that them owning the healthcare system will be a good idea, that is, unless you don’t mind paying for constant updates. You can find their healthcare bot here.
So if you’re coughing and you run a little fever just visit Clara 😉