OSF HealthCare using AI virtual assistant to improve COVID-19 screenings, care navigation

Patient engagement software startup Gyant began rolling out on March 17 a new virtual clinical assistant to aid healthcare providers as they offer patients COVID-19 screening for and education about the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare has already added the COVID-19 Emergency Response Assistant feature to its existing Gyant digital assistant solution, according to a March 17 news release. The artificial intelligence-powered tool screens patients for symptoms and risk factors of the disease, directs them to appropriate care settings and provides information about symptoms, prevention and preparedness.

"We are always looking for ways to better serve our patients and offer more personalized engagements. Our patients want the ability to communicate with us virtually, and this has only heightened with the spread of COVID-19," Jennifer Junis, senior vice president of OSF HealthCare's Saint Gabriel Digital Health, said in the release. "With Gyant, we created Clare, a friendly and informative virtual assistant that supports patients before and during their care journey. This level of connectivity is critical in times of healthcare crisis."

Clare's usage rates have reportedly skyrocketed since OSF HealthCare deployed Gyant's COVID-19 specific software: The health system's virtual assistant had 14,000 interactions regarding COVID-19 in just the first two days after the software update, according to the release.

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