Interactive Health Information Chatbot for Non-Communicable Diseases in Swahili LanguageAbstract:
Current health awareness campaign strategies, efforts, and methods on NCDs have not produced improved outcomes in reducing the burden, spread, and deaths linked to NCDs in Tanzania. To support, compliment, and improve health literacy on NCDs and promote good healthcare, we designed and developed an interactive health Chatbot ‘afyaBot’ in Swahili language that can respond to user's requests concerning NCDs symptoms, prevention, management, and cure. The Chatbot was designed using Botsociety; a special tool for designing Chatbot prototypes; BotMan framework for coding the Chatbot logic and Google Dialogflow platform that offers high-level Natural Language Processing capabilities. The Chatbot was integrated into the Facebook Messenger platform which offers free public API access that eliminates the cost of the internet from the consumers. The Chatbot was tested for accuracy, usability, user experience, responsiveness, reliability, maintainability, and portability. The results of implementation were satisfactory and provide insights useful to stakeholders in the health sector. The interactive Chatbot was designed to provide real-time information on NCDs, create awareness, and educate users on preventive, control, and treatment measures of NCDs. It will likewise assist healthcare providers to collect accurate timely health data for monitoring, planning, and research purpose.