US company LifeFolder aims to support people with end-of-life planning

By Catherine Sturman
US company LifeFolder aims to support 25-45-year olds through a new technology to deliver end-of-life planning needs to individuals who need it most. It...

US company LifeFolder aims to support 25-45-year olds through a new technology to deliver end-of-life planning needs to individuals who need it most. It will help create three documents which help individuals discuss their wishes and needs, and provide exceptional care support.

Approximately 80% of Americans have not planned for what they would like planned with regards to their end-of-life care. The company’s chatbot, named Emily, will be able to spend as much time as possible with individuals, and help them be able to discuss their needs with their loved ones, on what would otherwise be a complex subject.  

The bot provides much needed conversations with users, and takes the place of a professional nurse, who would inform the user about key topic areas and provide further information on required elements. The free Facebook Messenger bot explains the decisions a user has to make, and supports the completion of legal paperwork to prepare for end of life. In assisting with these documents, the bot also supports the creation of a Health Proxy nomination, which enables users to select who they would like to speak on their behalf, if they become unable.

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“Our advance health care directive becomes necessary in situations that are stressful. If you have an illness or if you’re in an accident, doctors may ask your proxies to make decisions for you,” explains Haje Jan Kamps, CEO of LifeFolder

The second element is putting forth a set of priorities and wishes, which has been set out in an Advance Directive. The document outlines what users do and don't want from their health care. Thirdly, how the user feels about organ donation and whether they would be a willing donor.

"We've tested our bot Emily with hundreds of people so far,” adds Kamps. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

We were worried that perhaps people wouldn't be ready to talk to a chatbot about a topic as sensitive as death, but instead, we found the opposite. Chatbots are particularly good at not being judgmental, and being extremely patient."

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