Kenyan healthtech startup Zuri launches Whatsapp chatbot to democratize access to healthcare

Kenyan healthtech startup Zuri launches Whatsapp chatbot to democratize access to healthcare

Published: 06-05-2022 08:36:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 5290 | Tags:

Kenyan healthtech startup Zuri Health has launched a WhatsApp chatbot for its users across the country. Known as Vera, Zuri says the new chatbot will help to connect patients to healthcare services in Kenya, where 97% of all internet users are using WhatsApp as of 2021, according to the GlobalWebIndex. 

Zuri Health is a virtual hospital that enables users in Africa to access first level primary healthcare services where they can talk to doctors, book appointments, book lab tests and order medication from pharmacies. It has platforms on its website, its mobile app ‘Zuri Health’, and SMS platforms in Kenya and Senegal.

Ikechukwu Anoke, Founder, Zuri Health: “We understand that to democratize access to healthcare, various channels have to be created. Apart from our website, mobile app and SMS service, we saw a need to add on Vera for audiences that prefer WhatsApp as a means of communication, even for healthcare services.” 

Vera, Zuri Health’s chatbot will work 24/7 to provide quick responses and services in real-time to patients and connect them to healthcare services and products. Vera can handle multiple questions simultaneously which is different from waiting in line at a hospital, for example. She also currently responds in 3 available languages; English, Swahili, and French. 

Users will be able to book lab and diagnostic tests, buy medication and schedule doctor appointments. To access Vera on WhatsApp and get chatting, users can send a “Hi” or “Hello” to the Whatsapp number +254756551551 or use this link, and she will respond, answering to a few sign-up prompts, before verifying the user’s email address to begin the conversation. The user will then have access to healthcare services available.