India launches a national smart chat bot for COVID-19 plasma donation

Bot Screenshot in English

Bot Screenshot in Hindi

Sapio Smart Healthcare, a division of government advisory firm Sapio Analytics, has launched a Whatsapp Chat Bot for central plasma management across India.

NEW DELHI, DELHI, INDIA, May 10, 2021 / — Sutra, an initiative steered by senior officers from the Government of India, has been launched today for facilitating plasma donations across India. Say Hi to +91 7977358349 on Whatsapp and find access to verified plasma donors and healthcare centres around you, if you are in India. This initiative has been designed to reduce the hassles being faced by COVID-19 patients especially with respect to finding a plasma donor around them. It is also being used to encourage recovered COVID-19 patients to register for plasma donation and contribute towards the fight against COVID-19.

Conceptualised by Sapio Smart Healthcare, a division of government advisory firm Sapio Analytics, the Whatsapp chat bot is one of the major outputs of this initiative, that has brought together various NGOs and tries to centralise plasma donation, making sure the benefits of plasma are not limited to only those who are networked and digitally savvy. Created with the help of a team led by IIT Bombay alumnus Arpit Palod, the outreach is being led by hundreds of thousands of volunteers who are being onboarded towards the cause.

“We request every recovered COVID-19 patient in India to register on the bot by simply saying Hi to the Whatsapp number. Our aim is to make sure that we have enough plasma donors for all patients, despite the active vaccinations that are going on right now. We are particularly concerned about the smaller towns of India and invite every donor of every part of the country to register. The bot relies on a unique proprietary GIS-based system that provides the patients donors from their district as well as the nearby districts if the same is not available in their district”, says Hardik Somani, COO of Sapio Analytics.

The bot is available in both English and Hindi and shall be made available in other major regional languages soon. It aims to be readable and accessible by majority of the population of India who may not be savvy with existing digital platforms and mobile applications for providing resources related to COVID-19.

With regards to the accuracy of the data available on the bot, Somani adds, “There have been multiple instances of false or stale data being spread through Whatsapp as well as various platforms for plasma donation. Hence our focus has been on accuracy, particularly because we don’t expect the less networked citizens to go through hassles of inaccurate data at the time of such stress. Using our team of volunteers and automated auditing processes, we are able to weed out any data that is not verified, and allow only the right data to appear on the bot. Also, the bot maintains privacy of the donors by sharing information with only the relevant seekers based on their blood group.”

Plasma treatment is considered a part of the treatment protocol provided by Indian Council of Medical Research, for mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, under special circumstances. Data shows that this segment is one of the highest in India right now, hence increasing the requirement of plasma donations.

Hardik Somani
Sapio Smart Healthcare
email us here