Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care may soon start offering a new digital concierge that allows patients to enter their symptoms on a computer or mobile device and receive real-time advice on what the most appropriate care site might be. The chatbot, called Bouy, appears in a web browser, understands “natural language,” and adapts to the user’s answers. It operates, essentially, like an electronic decision tree by asking the user a series of questions aimed at directing them to urgent care, the emergency room, a primary care provider—or no care at all, if none is warranted. If care is recommended, the user can click to check in at an Aurora urgent care (or other) location. The bot is programmed with information on roughly 5,000 health conditions, though in artificial-intelligence style it is expected to “learn” more as it’s used by more people. It’s the product of a partnership between Aurora and the Microsoft Healthcare NExT initiative. Aurora is quick to point out that it does not dispense medical advice. The bot is currently in a beta test phase, with plans to roll it out on the Aurora website later this year.
This Bot’s for You, Aurora Health Care