VA deploys chatbot to guide vets through the pandemic 24/7

Working with a software consultancy that operates in 14 countries, the Department of Veterans Affairs has launched an interactive digital assistant to take U.S. veterans’ questions on COVID-19 and related concerns.

The consultancy, Chicago-headquartered ThoughtWorks, says the interactive chatbot system was built and put to work in less than a month. It uses the CDC’s COVID-19 symptom checker and Microsoft’s Health Bot Service.

Along with anytime helps on self-diagnosis, the virtual aide conversationally dispenses tips to vets 24/7 on things like stimulus payments, telehealth, scheduling and prescription refills.

Charles Worthington, the VA’s chief technology officer, says the COVID chatbot is “a great example of the VA’s commitment to using new technologies to improve our services.”