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Meet Clara: The CDC’s New AI-Powered Coronavirus Symptom Checker

This past weekend the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a new coronavirus symptom checker on their website to help people determine if they have common symptoms of COVID-19 and what treatment to seek. The CDC named the new chatbot Clara, and although the tool can’t provide a definitive diagnosis, it’s designed to help Americans “make decisions about seeking appropriate medical care.”

It was created in partnership with the Microsoft Azure Healthcare Bot program. Clara uses AI to screen patients online and help healthcare professionals handle the mass influx of inquiries related to coronavirus.

As more and more people experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms worry about their COVID-19 status, this system could help prevent dangerous bottlenecks at urgent care and ER facilities.

Some of the questions include location, age, whether you’re experiencing life-threatening symptoms and your activity over the past two weeks leading up to the symptoms.

The questions are fairly straightforward and feel similar to what a nurse or healthcare practitioner would ask you in person, determining how serious your situation is and the corresponding actions to take.

Clara is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition but simply walk through symptoms and give recommendations based on established criteria.

The bot is currently screening more than one million messages per day from members of the public concerned they have COVID-19, a number the CDC expects to rise rapidly in the coming days and weeks.

You can try Clara for yourself on the CDC website.


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