IBM and Neurorehabilitation Center ERGO Aktiv Put Together a Virtual Assistant for Families Dealing with Situation After a Stroke or Other Acquired Brain Damage.
IBM has developed a virtual assistant “Andělín” to help patients of the Czech Neurorehabilitation Center ERGO Aktiv after a stroke with their return to an active life and work. The virtual assistant can help reduce confusion and misinterpretation of information by answering questions and providing general information related to the post stroke rehabilitation shared widely on Internet. Built on the IBM Cloud, the Watson-based assistant allows the patients and their families to ask questions about the challenges and situations they typically face after stroke.
“The important role is to provide reliable source of information. The virtual assistant guides the users by asking specific questions needed to provide an answer or help. It gives also pointers to the other reliable sources of information e.g. on ERGO Aktiv and other online sources,” said the head of ERGO Aktiv Jan Konig.
Very important is the form of the interaction with the user. While some users are happy by browsing through the pages, others prefer natural language conversation and that is what the virtual assistant provides. Users can also ask to be contacted by human adviser, and if they do it during the conversation with the virtual assistant, the parameters are passed to the adviser which can help the advisor to better focus the answers.
“Patients after stroke need personal approach in rehabilitation as well as an interactive partner which is able help and consult them. Andělín, the virtual assistant developed by IBM Watson Lab Prague is trained to react on emotional questions and helps users find out useful information by asking the specific questions proactively or suggesting the alternatives. It is trained to react to specific situations and can suggest patients what to do next in therapy process,” explains Jan Konig.
“In IBM Watson Research has created an open source extension of standard IBM product to bring chatbots closer to clients. The Watson Assistant Workbench provides clients, who are not ICT professionals, with an option to write the content for the chatbot in spreadsheets,” said IBM Watson Lab Prague senior manager Jan Kleindienst. ERGO Aktiv is a leading non-profit organization in Czech Republic which has helped thousands of stroke patients in their therapy. The new virtual assistant, available on ERGO Aktiv’s website, brings a new pillar of help for ERGO Aktiv clients 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
“A typical user’s problem is that they frequently do not know, what they would like to find out. The virtual assistant/Andělín can help them by asking the specific questions proactively or suggesting the alternatives,” added Jan Konig.