Unusual examples of using WhatsApp bots

For fighting COVID-19, searching for missing people and hiking expeditions

Bots in messengers are nothing new and no one is surprised by them. In the nature of our business, we come across requests to create bots or compose bots through our builder. Some cases particularly impress us and we would like to share them. Maybe these examples of chat bots will help you find inspiration for implementation in their projects and serve as a starting point for further development.

Chat bots and teleconsultation in Spain in the fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 has really changed the world and forced a rethinking of many familiar processes. One of the countries most affected by the virus is Spain. Remember at the beginning of the pandemic, we were getting alarming news reports about how quickly the virus was spreading in this warm European country?

In this context, the Hospital de Poniente (El Ejido, Almeria, Spain), implemented a project to reduce the number of cases of infection among doctors through a modern approach to teleconsultations and WA bots.

It was a capacious and complex project, and it is described in detail in this scientific article. It is very interesting to see how the transition to teleconsultation was implemented at the Spanish Hospital.

Thus, all visitors to the hospital were divided into patients with respiratory diseases and others. Patients with COVID-19 were escorted to special empty rooms, where the patient could talk on the monitor to the doctor, who conducted interviews, collected complaints, and explained how to measure their blood pressure and temperature using the medical instruments in the room. The doctor would then fill out an anamnesis and send a patient card through the printer, which could be used for further treatment. The patient would leave the office and the hospital staff would immediately disinfect the room.

An important element of the new system was a hospital WhatsApp bot. Using the bot, doctors received push notifications about test results, such as COVID-19 confirmation, patient status, and could request periodic information about colleague shift schedules and the availability of certain procedure rooms.

On the other hand, patients also received answers to popular questions via bot chat, allowing them not to lose contact with the hospital. This approach relieved the burden on medical staff, reduced the number of physician risk contacts, accelerated the exchange of information, and established communication both within the hospital and with patients.

In fact, there's a lot to learn here; during pandemic periods, every doctor and hospital staff member becomes all gold, so moving to body consults, as a common practice, can be a very good move.

Optimizing the flow of incoming information when searching for missing people

You've probably seen missing person notices on poles, bus stops, and in front of driveways. It seems almost impossible that in big cities, where there are many different means of surveillance and other people after all, someone can just pick up and disappear. But the statistics are rather disappointing, with anywhere from 300,000 to 600,000 people missing each year in Russia, according to various sources. NGO Search for Missing Children in Russia is searching for missing people.

There is a rule according to which the quicker the information about a missing person gets to law enforcement or public organizations, the better the chances of finding the person. That's why they went to the trouble of optimizing the flow of incoming messages. We are not talking here about a bot per se, but rather about creating a channel that would collect all the incoming information in one place. In this case, they integrated Helpdesk with WhatsApp.

This allowed them to process information from witnesses, volunteers, and coordinate their actions faster. It's easier for people to unsubscribe via messenger, send photos or videos of where a missing person was spotted than to call or write to the website, which increases the amount of information received and, of course, helps the overall cause

Greenpeace bot Anastasia in Turkey

The Istanbul doga division of the Geopreasse in Turkey has an interesting version of the bot: it is a small public organization with a large frontline of work. They conduct trekking, hiking, backpacking, open new routes, and coordinate the volunteer movement. Since there aren't many people on staff, and the flow of requests from hikers and questions from those interested began to increase, they decided to create a bot to help them communicate with people.

The bot was named Anastasia. Anastasia answers all incoming questions, using the knowledge base already built up, and can also direct a person to one of the interest groups moderated by volunteers. This allows newcomers to immediately join a group of like-minded people and get all the information they need. In addition, Anastasia sends birthday greetings, sends out interesting information and is generally charming in her communication.

Still, we couldn't help asking, but why Anastasia? It turns out, because of nostalgia, but there is no place for a sad love story, just the creator of the project in 1998 established its IRC channel in the Undernet network. The eggdrop bot who moderated the channel was called Anastasia, hence the bot name for WhatsApp.

Bottom line

We have found it interesting to share such stories to demonstrate how we can use chat bots. In the future, if this topic seems interesting to you, we will collect examples and tell about other curious cases. And if you get a desire to make your own bot, you can find the chatbot builder in Chat API, which is free for developers.

Feel free to reach out and share your experiences or ask any questions.

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