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Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has invested in a Delhi-based Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot “Visit” which is the brainchild of students from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani in Rajasthan. Stone made this investment in his personal capacity.

Started in 2016 by Anurag Prasad, Vaibhav Singh, Shashvat Tripathi and Chetan Anand, “Visit” is an AI-powered chatbot for health advice learning from, and assisting, existing doctors.

“People interact with the ‘Visit’ chatbot by sharing some symptoms. The bot follows up with relevant questions to collect more symptoms and risk factors (is the person hypertensive, diabetic, a smoker). This triaging is conversational and low stress,” Stone wrote in a blog post on Medium on Sunday.

“Visit” plans to democratize healthcare by shrinking the shortage of doctors using AI.

“In India, for every doctor there are 2,000 patients lined up in-clinics — waiting for hours.

“Accessibility to quality health advice is an overwhelming problem in a country with over 200 million people affected by lifestyle problems like stress, chronic conditions, obesity, skin conditions, and more. This is where the technology approach by a ‘Visit’ comes in,” Stone informed.

“Visit” chats conclude with patients being more educated about possible conditions, symptoms, and treatments.

The chatbot is trained using over 20,000 probabilistic relationships between variables such as conditions, symptoms, risk factors, past history and more.

Once a probable medical condition is determined, “Visit” connects the patient to one of over 2,000 health specialists all across India via video, phone or chat so the right treatment can be put into place.

“But it doesn’t end there. People can stay in touch with their practitioner over chat for follow-up. The objective is not to replace the doctor but to help practitioners in an assistive way by regular patient check-ins and reminders related to their care plan,” Stone noted.

“Investing in Visit is my small way of contributing to a future where AI is seen as a positive enhancement of humanity that really does improve lives,” he added.

To recall, before this Biz Stone had invested in an another Indian startup called Lookup, a Bengaluru-based free and secure messaging app that connects shoppers with local businesses, in May 2015.

The above news was first reported in ET Tech.

Recent Chatbot Startups Activities

Last month, mobile handset manufacturer Micromax had invested in an AI-enabled Chatbot startup ‘One Labs’, which has developed chat bot like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.

In July 2017 Freshworks (formerly Freshdesk) acquired a chatbot startup called Joe Hukum, which too was based out of Gurgaon. Later, in the same year, an another Gurgaon based AI chatbot startup iDelivr got acquired by Phonon Communications.

The year 2017 was dominated by various chatbot activities as Amazon launched chatbot tools for developers, to help them build chat features into their own app while Microsoft launched India-specific chatbot called Ruuh, which later got wind up by the company however.

According to a survey report by Oracle, it was revealed that about 80 per cent of the companies surveyed are interested in making use of chatbots within a period of next 4 years so as to take their customer service to another level.

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Suman Chaudhary
An engineer by education and writer by profession, Suman keeps tab on startup ecosystem of India and leads the research team of IndiaWeb2 for covering funding deals, merger & acquisition and market reports.

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