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In Frontiers in digital health

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) forced rapid adaptations in the way healthcare is delivered and coordinated by health systems. Brazil has a universal public health system (Sistema Unico de Saúde-SUS), being the main source of care for 75% of the population. Therefore, a saturation of the system was foreseen with the continuous increase of cases. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to empower telehealth could help to tackle this by increasing a coordinated patient access to the health system. In the present study we describe a descriptive case report analyzing the use of Laura Digital Emergency Room-an AI-powered telehealth platform-in three different cities. It was computed around 130,000 interactions made by the chatbot and 24,162 patients completed the digital triage. Almost half (44.8%) of the patients were classified as having mild symptoms, 33.6% were classified as moderate and only 14.2% were classified as severe. The implementation of an AI-powered telehealth to increase accessibility while maintaining safety and leveraging value amid the unprecedent impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was feasible in Brazil and may reduce healthcare overload. New efforts to yield sustainability of affordable and scalable solutions are needed to truly leverage value in health care systems, particularly in the context of middle-low-income countries.

Morales Hugo M P, Guedes Murilo, Silva Jennifer S, Massuda Adriano

2021

COVID-19, access, artificial intelligence, care coordination, chatbot, public health