WHO launches Florence, AI-powered health worker

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World Health Organization, with support from the Qatar Ministry of Health, today launched the A.I.-powered WHO Digital Health Worker, Florence version 2.0, presenting an innovative, imaginative, and interactive platform to convey a myriad of health topics in seven languages at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) in Qatar.

Florence can transmit guidance on mental health, deliver guidance to destress, give advice on how to eat right, be more active, and quit tobacco and e-cigarettes. She can also suggest information on COVID-19 vaccines and more! Florence 2.0 is now available in English, Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, and Russian.

It has helped in battling misinformation around COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The pandemic has had a powerful effect on mental health. It is estimated that one in every eight people in the world live with a mental disorder. Physical inactivity kills an estimated 830,000, while topics like tobacco and an unhealthy diet kill 16 million people every year.

These deaths are due to diseases like cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes that can be prevented and controlled with the right support.

“Digital technology plays a critical role in helping people worldwide lead healthier lives,” said Andy Pattison, WHO’s Team Lead for Digital Channels.

“The A.I. health worker Florence is a shining example of the potential to harness technology to promote and protect people’s physical and mental health. At WISH, we aim to meet with visionary partners to continue to improve this cutting-edge technology. AI can help fill gaps in health information that exist in many communities around the world.”

WHO released the beta version of Florence 2.0 to interact with scientists, public health organisations, entrepreneurs, and policymakers and plans to continue to develop the digital health worker to help meet major health issues facing the world today, at the WISH conference.

Nick Bradshaw, Director of Partnerships and Outreach at WISH, stated, “We are pleased to have Florence 2.0 launched at the WISH conference. This is a place for global actors to come together to find solutions for public health. WHO is demonstrating incredible innovation leadership by using groundbreaking empathetic A.I.”

The digital health worker is a prominent and critical feature of the sport for health partnership between WHO and the Qatar Ministry of Public Health, which has been specified to help make this year’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 a beacon for health and safety.

The project is supported by technology company Soul Machines, which brings avatars to life in the state of autonomously animated Digital People.

“Through this collaboration, we have created a personality for the frontline responder that is empathetic, informative, and understanding,” says Greg Cross, CEO, and Co-Founder of Soul Machines.

“Our Digital People operate and respond in real-time, providing users with a unique and emotionally engaging experience. We look forward to continuing our work on Florence as we aim to positively reshape and transform the healthcare industry.”


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