Voice as a Human-Centered Solution

Given all that’s happening in the world right now, we wanted to do something different this week. In lieu of our typical round-up of voice news, we wanted to highlight efforts that have gone toward using voice as an interface to educate about and combat COVID-19. We have already seen voice take hold as a primary channel in China to assist in the fight against the virus and are beginning to see some inventive use cases emerge here in the U.S. along with some important thinking. More on these efforts below. 

In the spirit of community, RAIN is planning to donate a free consultation – whether you seek creative, strategic, or technical input – to any organizations, businesses or brands that are thinking about ways to assist people with voice and conversational AI during this pandemic. Please email us at hello@rain.agency to start the conversation. 

Header image source

Conversational COVID-19 Support 

Recognizing a need to support healthcare professionals on the front lines of virus protection, Orbita has released a COVID-19 Virtual Assistant that is free for public use.  The assistant helps to provide (vetted) information on the virus to healthy or asymptomatic users as well as help to screen, assess and direct assistance next steps for sick users. The assistant has been made available for use across platforms including smart speakers, SMS and IVR. More on Biospace

Coronavirus Voice Detection

Voice assistant startup Voca AI have teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University to create an early diagnosis tool for COVID-19 using voice and speech data. According to Voca AI the tool “combines recently developed AI and voice forensic technologies, finding specific patterns in voice, tone and other sounds that we produce as we speak, that relate to unique illnesses and other human factors.” In order to create the service, the company needs to generate enough data from people to create reliable remote testing. They are currently requesting voice samples through their website. More on Voca AI

Telehealth Toolkit

Rx.Health, a spinoff company from the Mount Sinai Health System, has launched an open source set of digital tools for hospitals and healthcare companies to utilize. According to MedCityNews this toolkit includes “ electronic guides that can be sent to patients, digital triage linked with appointment reminders to identify patients at high-risk of exposure to the virus, a telehealth platform and tools to digitally monitor patients that have been quarantined [as well as] checklists and quizzes to help prepare health workers on the front lines.” Many startups have already partnered with Rx.Health to offer the toolkit including Suki, a physician-focused voice assistant. More on MedCityNews.

Stats Don’t Lie

553,778% increase in COVID-19 and related searches in Jan. 2020 (data via ComScore)

54% consumers who say they think companies should offer resources to help their customers stay healthy during this epidemic.  (data via Suzy)

Chart of the Week

Coronavirus-Digital-Audience-Retail
(data via ComScore)