Have you ever had a question about women’s health but didn’t want to bother a doctor about it? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Many women don’t bring up issues with their doctor because they feel like the answers to their questions are obvious or unimportant. While you should feel empowered to ask your doctor any question about your health, it’s also important to know that there’s another option. A new Women’s Health Chatbot from the World Health Organization (WHO) answers common (and some not-so common) questions about important issues.
The chatbot is part of a global campaign by WHO and the company Rakuten Viber to raise awareness about women’s health topics. Both organizations hope to tackle worldwide issues like breast cancer, cancer in general, menstruation, and domestic violence. As a result, trusted information screened by healthcare professionals will now be at your fingertips.
To use the chatbot, you’ll need to download the Viber app to your phone or desktop. Viber is an instant messaging app that allows you to make free calls and send texts, pictures, and video messages using WiFi. (So, if you’re traveling outside of the country and don’t want to pay for international cell service, this might be a good option for you!)
The app also offers a series of educational chatbots that you can interact with on a day-to-day basis. The women’s health chatbot is the WHO’s second official bot on the app. The first is a Covid-19 chatbot that offers the latest information on the virus.
How to Use the Women’s Health Chatbot
Currently, the women’s health chatbot is offering information on breast cancer. To use it, you’ll have to first create an account on the app. Then, search for “WHO Women’s Health” in the chats section of the app and click “join community.” Explore the chatbot by clicking on different buttons to see information, such as “risks,” “advice,” “symptoms,” and “treatment.”
In addition to providing information on breast cancer, the WHO will update the bot to discuss menstruation, certain diseases, cancer, and more. The goal is to focus on one topic at a time so that users will not feel overloaded with information.
The Importance of a Chatbot for Women
Why was a chatbot so important to create? “Women and girls in many world regions have limited access to health care due to prejudice based on sociocultural factors, resulting in an excessive number of premature and unnecessary deaths,” Anna Znamenskaya, Viber’s Chief Growth Officer, told First for Women. “Technology offers a solution. The WHO and Viber chatbot on women’s health includes information and a step-by-step self-examination guide, as well as personalized reminders and additional prevention advice. Additionally, there are regions in which health services are a valuable privilege, and we wanted to make sure that women there can obtain information they may not otherwise have access to.”
While the chatbot is designed to level the playing field for women who might not have access to the best health care, all women can use it. For instance, many women still don’t know how to perform self examinations, and many don’t know the most common symptoms for certain cancers. The chatbot answers all of those issues in an engaging, clear manner.
To learn more about specific topics immediately, check out the WHO’s page on women’s health. The organization regularly publishes stories on a wide range of topics, including self-health checks. You can also keep reading First for Women!