The German Red Cross (DRK) has launched a nationwide chatbot service to answer all questions about the coronavirus and COVID-19.
Integrated with the world’s most popular chat app WhatsApp, the chatbot was developed by Future of Voice, a leading international agency for conversational AI from Berlin, in cooperation with the global cloud communications service provider tyntec and the dialog management system from Parloa.
After seeing the benefits of a similar service launched by the WHO (World Health Organization) that uses a WhatsApp chatbot to answer user queries about the coronavirus, the German Red Cross has released a German-language capable chatbot.
The DRK WhatsApp chatbot provides coronavirus related figures, hygiene measures, as well as helpful tips for handling emotional stress in real time. The aim of the German Red Cross is to provide a fast and easily accessible service around the clock as a countermeasure to the spread of fake news surrounding the corona pandemic.
The development of the DRK WhatsApp chatbot was completed in just one week – an outstanding result of a joint project of the lead agency Future of Voice together with Parloa and tyntec.
The global cloud communications service provider tyntec is one of the few official providers of the WhatsApp Business API. As the technical partner in the joint project, tyntec was able to expedite the WhatsApp integration process, shortening the implementation time. Specializing in the automation of communication channels in the form of voice assistants and chatbots, Parloa used its dialog management system to design and develop the conversation experience.
The service of the DRK WhatsApp chatbot is available free of charge directly via this link: https://bit.ly/drk-whatsapp or by calling +49 30 8540 4106 and can be used by anyone who has installed WhatsApp on their smartphone.
“Given the abundance and speed of data available in this extremely dynamic situation, it is all the more important to get reliable information on the coronavirus from trustworthy and reputable sources. With the launch of the new DRK Coronavirus chatbot for WhatsApp, we want to ensure exactly that – fast, trustworthy information sent directly to consumers in the way they want to receive,” explains DRK Secretary General Christian Reuter.
“The solution for the German Red Cross shows that we are able to implement solutions even at short notice. Especially in the current pandemic situation, it is critical to provide verified, trustworthy information. WhatsApp is the ideal channel for this in German-speaking countries. Nine out of ten smartphone owners are actively using the app on a daily basis, making it easy to reach them immediately,” says Dr Marco Lafrentz, Vice President of Products at tyntec.
“Thanks to the collaboration with tyntec and Parloa, we were able to develop a WhatsApp solution for the German Red Cross in a very short time. Given the uncertainties experienced by the German population during this coronavirus pandemic, we knew we had to move as quickly as possible to help them deal with isolation or quarantine. With the help of the technical setup we used, it is possible to adapt answers to user questions even at short notice, providing the agility the German Red Cross needs to respond quickly in case of a widespread of a false report, for example. The goal is to provide the best service at all times,” says Malte Kosub, Managing Director of Future of Voice.
The move comes hot on the heels of the Italian Red Cross (Croce Rossa Italiana, CRI) working with Kaleyra to create a free text-message service designed to help volunteers and citizens dealing with the emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19. The UK government and the World Health Organisation have also set up WhatsApp services.