PRA and Microsoft collaborate on COVID-19 monitoring

By William Smith
Healthcare research organisation PRA Health Sciences has announced the integration of a Microsoft chatbot into a COVID-19 monitoring programme...

Healthcare research organisation PRA Health Sciences has announced the integration of a Microsoft chatbot into a COVID-19 monitoring programme.

PRA’s Health Harmony digital platform, which features a mobile app, has been integrated with a COVID-19 monitoring solution.

The collaboration with Microsoft involves the use of its Healthcare Bot service, an AI-powered chatbot, which can communicate with patients to assess their symptoms.

In a press release, Kent Thoelke, EVP and Chief Scientific Officer at PRA Health Sciences, said: “Collaborating closely with leading edge companies like Microsoft, PRA is uniquely positioned to deliver innovative new models of care to patients as their needs evolve, especially in times of crisis and uncertainty.

“With PRA’s Health Harmony app in their hands, patients can track signs, symptoms and self-manage their own COVID-19-related care, but if symptoms escalate, remote monitoring and the help obtained from a healthcare professional can make all the difference. PRA is giving patients more control and better access to personalized healthcare, right from their own devices and on their own schedule.”

The chatbot works by asking questions and checking answers against U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidance, before recommending one of three education, quarantine and monitoring programmes. PRA said it had rolled out the chatbot to more than 7,000 employees in the United States, with organisations using its solution able to better understand factors such as patient flow and care individualisation, among other issues.

“Healthcare and clinical research should be easily accessible to all people and tailored to fit their unique needs,” said Jean Gabarra, General Manager, Health AI at Microsoft. “When technology like Microsoft’s COVID-19 Healthcare Bot and a user-friendly interface like the Health Harmony app can be combined with the insights and expertise of a global healthcare intelligence partner like PRA, patients’ health and wellbeing will benefit tremendously.”


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