Over 400 million Indians use WhatsApp to stay connected to their loved ones, message businesses of their choice and access essential services like education, healthcare and financial services, at their fingertips. WhatsApp chatbots built on the WhatsApp Business Platform, an API-based platform on which businesses or NGOs can build customized solutions, are increasingly being used by healthcare providers to deploy innovative and unique services that make healthcare accessible, inclusive and efficient for citizens across India, especially in the rural parts of the country.
Through the WhatsApp Incubator program, an initiative launched in December 2021, WhatsApp has supported multiple organizations to tackle critical health issues and build solutions for a healthier India. These impactful health use-cases are revolutionizing how Indians access medical care and advice, and are making WhatsApp an effective platform for healthcare providers to deliver personalized, intuitive and scalable healthcare delivery.
From chatbots promoting Maternal Health, Sexual & Reproductive health to diabetes management, here are some chatbots that every woman should know about.
- ARMMAN is an NGO working towards improving access of pregnant women and mothers to preventive information and services. Lack of access to preventive care information is a significant problem underlying the woeful maternal morbidity and mortality numbers in India. Through the WhatsApp chatbot, ARMMAN expanded its mMitra program, an IVR-based maternal messaging program and added personalized reminders for pregnant women including actionable information as per stage of pregnancy, reminders for antenatal doctor visits. Through multilingual voice and chat-based communication, expectant mothers can access life-saving healthcare information and critical information on maternal and infancy care. WhatsApp users need to simply send ‘Hi’ to the number +912250323237. During the pilot, 87% of the women who set up reminders made their antenatal doctor visits post the reminders.
- Girl Effect’s Bol Behen chatbot on WhatsApp helps adolescent girls and young women with concerns and queries around general health and sexual well-being. The ‘Hinglish’ language chatbot provides girls a safe space to grow their knowledge and is equipped with relatable and easy to understand content on sensitive topics such sex, relationships and reproductive health, in a self-paced chat on WhatsApp. The chatbot is equipped with a verified health-service directory and includes gamified learning through quizzes to improve engagement. Till date over 240,000 users have initiated conversations and over 2.7 million messages have been received on the Bol Behen chatbot. Users can simply send ‘Hi’ to the number +917304496601 on WhatsApp to start a conversation.
- Remedo’s DISHA chatbot on WhatsApp is a one-stop shop for PCOS and Pregnancy related information, including adherence to care plan post a doctor’s consultation and enabling sustainable lifestyle change. People can use the chatbot for personalized reminders for tests and medication, expert health coach assistance, booking follow up sessions and answering questions users might have. During the pilot, 90% of the patients showed improvement in their condition and shared a 4.5/5 approval rating. To access the service, WhatsApp users need to send a ‘Hi’ to the number +918879797976.