Zuri Health, a Kenyan telemedicine startup, has launched a WhatsApp chatbot for its Kenyan users. Zuri says the new chatbot, dubbed Vera, will assist connect people to healthcare providers in Kenya, where 97% of all internet users are using WhatsApp as of 2021, according to the GlobalWebIndex.
Zuri Health is a virtual hospital that allows users in Africa to access primary healthcare services such as talking to doctors, scheduling appointments, ordering lab testing, and ordering medications from pharmacies.In Kenya and Senegal, it has platforms on its website, its mobile app ‘Zuri Health,’ and SMS platforms.
“We understand that to democratize access to healthcare, various channels have to be created. Apart from our website, mobile app and SMS service, we saw a need to add on Vera for audiences that prefer WhatsApp as a means of communication, even for healthcare services.” Zuri Health Founder Ikechukwu Anoke said.
Vera, Zuri Health’s chatbot, will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to deliver real-time responses and services to patients and connect them to healthcare services and products.
Vera may answer many questions at the same time, which is different from, say, waiting in line at a hospital. She can also react in one of three languages: English, Swahili, or French.
The Zuri Health WhatsApp Chatbot will allow users to arrange lab and diagnostic testing, purchase medications, and plan medical appointments.
To access Vera on WhatsApp and get chatting, users can send a “Hi” or “Hello” to the Whatsapp number +254756551551 or use the link https://wa.me/254756551551 and she will respond, answering to a few sign-up prompts, before verifying the user’s email address to begin the conversation. The user will then have access to healthcare services available.