Uganda's TMCG launched an AI health chatbot dubbed Mirembe

The Medical Concierge Group (TMCG), a Ugandan digital health enterprise, launched a digital AI health chatbot dubbed Mirembe. "TMCG has launched an Artificially Intelligent (AI) health chatbot," they wrote in a press release.

This is one of the latest initiative from TMCG after raising $200,000 in funding mid this year from an undisclosed angel investor.

The chatbot is named Mirembe, which means 'Peace' in Luganda - a leading dialect in the country. Mirembe is personalized as a female personal health advisor. It offers free triage and care advice to health symptoms in Facebook Messenger.

It has the ability to replicate interactive human conversation. This is by processing natural language and using predetermined automated text-based responses.

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This ensures that most FAQs can get answered very fast. It also offers an easier and more accessible and affordable way to such services. Since the chatbot is available at no cost for anyone, anywhere and at any time. This also ensures that the already scarce doctors get put to better use..

According to Dr. Davis Musinguzi, the TMCG MD; "Mirembe is able to provide users with real-time triage recommendations and first-line health advice with a very personal touch."

This is because the chatbot's AI is built to process the health symptoms provided against age, gender, symptom severity and duration. It can also process known medical problems, and other clinical findings.

To use the chatbot, search for 'Mirembe' on Facebook messenger and select the 'Get Started' button for the first encounter.

"For subsequent encounters, just say ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’ and Mirembe will respond. At the end of the encounter, Mirembe will provide the user with a summary report and the user can also rate their experience and provide suggestions."

There is also an option for one to request a call-back in case they need support beyond what the chatbot can offer. This comes at the end of every encounter.

"TMCG’s 24/7 call centre medical doctors and pharmacists will receive a notification, review your submitted information and call you back to further discuss your health symptoms and recommend lab investigations and/or a treatment plan."

According to TMCG, some of the questions that the chatbot can be able to answer include; '“Do I need to see a doctor?', 'How serious might this be?', 'When and where should I go for care?' and more.

There is a whitepaper by Nigerian data scientist Oladapo O. Oyebode and Canadian researcher Dr. Rita Orji detailing the need of a similar service named Likita. Though, it is not clear whether they went ahead and executed it or not.

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