In the earlier days of the 2020 pandemic, we felt the force as multiple challenges collided.
First was a virus that the vast majority of people knew nothing about. Misinformation was rife as we searched for some understanding of how to stay safe, and even the official guidance had to be updated as research progressed.
All this was (and is) accentuated by the simultaneous pandemic of poor health literacy. Nearly half of all Europeans have a “problematic” or worse level of health literacy. Only 12% of people in the U.S. have “proficient” health literacy; and 59% of Australians suffer from inadequate knowledge around their health.
We’re largely ill-equipped to make the best decisions that positively impact our health at the best of times.
In early April 2020, we trained one of our digital humans, Sophie, to answer some of the most common questions around Coronavirus. Using live CDC and WHO databases, Sophie became a free public health advisor – updating people on the latest news and guidance, while providing real-time advice on how to stay safe based on trusted sources of information.
Importantly, integration with our ecosystem partners Lingmo International allowed Sophie to provide real-time translation and multilingual support. So it’s not just English speakers who benefit from her guidance; she can have fluent conversations in Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Japanese and more.
With so many of us tasked with staying in our homes during this time, Sophie was able to play to her strengths of being a digital human, a form of conversational AI – emotive, warm and friendly, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection and available 24/7.