Pulse Symptom Checker: AI-driven app helps health management during COVID-19


    PRECAUTIONS being taken during this COVID-19 pandemic has made going to the doctor very difficult. Hospitals now are seen as places where a coronavirus infection will occur.

    However, consultations with the doctor is a very important part of health and well-being. This has become especially apparent in these days of the pandemic, where self-medication, based on knowledge seen or heard over the Internet has become prevalent. Keeping in tune with good physical or even mental health, even online, should be done cautiously.

    Pru Life UK’s free health management app, Pulse, offers cutting edge AI-powered health technologies that provide users with access to real-time health information wherever they are, round the clock.

    One of Pulse’s main features, Symptom Checker, is an AI-driven tool powered by UK-based healthcare technology and services company Babylon. Made accessible to Pulse users through the partnership between Pru Life UK’s parent company Prudential and Babylon, the Symptom Checker acts as a gateway for users when seeking care. It is designed to help users better understand their worrying symptoms and direct them to seek advice from healthcare professionals.

    A tool for maintaining and checking health

    To ensure the Symptom Checker is a useful tool for people to explore their health, local doctors and translators work together with a team of epidemiologists, engineers and data scientists to build a version that is clinically validated and attuned to the Philippines.

    “Pru Life UK is proud to provide these smart digital self-help tools to help users understand their health better and empower them to make more informed health decisions. We encourage Filipinos to use Pulse to prevent, postpone, and protect themselves against the onset of diseases,” Pru Life UK Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Marketing Officer Allan Tumbaga said.

    The Symptom Checker tool can be easily navigated in the health tab of the Pulse app. Users can enter their symptoms and answer questions via a chatbot interface to receive fast outcomes and suggestions for next steps, by identifying related risk factors from the symptoms and information entered by a user. At the end of the conversation, users are guided to an appropriate triage outcome (e.g. Self Care’, ‘Pharmacy’, ’GP’, ‘GP urgent’, ‘Hospital or ‘Hospital urgent’) and provided further information about possible causes.

    An evolving mobile health management platform

    Pulse is constantly updated with enhanced features, information, and relevant functionalities to current health concerns. The Symptom Checker, for example, has recently been updated to provide alerts on specific symptoms and conditions that could be related to COVID-19. With this updated feature, it can provide additional information that can help the user identify if they need treatment or if they can look after themselves, based on local healthcare guidance.

    The right info when needed

    In addition, Pulse has recently added new features and benefits, including the Hospital Locator, Pulse Beats, Safe Steps Safety Card, and the latest free offering of COVID-19 coverage and Personal Accident insurance.

    The Hospital Locator provides a map that navigates nearby hospitals and clinics to help users access immediate healthcare services. Meanwhile, education materials such as Pulse Beats and the Prudence Foundation led Safe Steps Safety Card are found in the home tab on Pulse to give health information and suggest preventative measures against certain illnesses, including COVID-19.

    Lastly, the Pulse app allows Filipinos aged 18-64 to avail of a 45-day free COVID-19 coverage and personal accident (PA) insurance until May 31.

    The product provides a death benefit or lump sum amount of P100K to the beneficiaries if the insured passes away due to accident or as a result of COVID-19, subject to terms and conditions and a double death benefit for eligible healthcare workers who dedicate themselves for saving lives.

    “Our updated Pulse features and the COVID-19 protection offer are ways of assuring Filipinos that they can rely on us in times of a health crisis. Through our ‘We DO Innovation’ and ‘We DO Health’ promises, safeguarding Filipinos’ health and wealth continues to be our top priority,” says Tumbaga.

    Not a doctor’s replacement

    Pulse clarified that the Symptom Checker, though using the expertise of actual doctors, is a self-help tool, not a proper doctor’s diagnosis. As a tool, it is intended for use only for general wellbeing purposes, by non-pregnant adults over the age of 18 as a source of information and knowledge to be able to act positively and with urgency, in case it is needed.

    By issuing this warning, Pru Life also signifies that the app is not intended to be used for any medical purpose, clarifying that any health-related information provided should not be treated as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    “Please consult a doctor for any medical advice required or if you are concerned about any of your symptoms. Symptom Checker should never be used in a medical emergency, local emergency services should be contacted in this situation,” the app documentation recommends.

    Pulse is available in the Philippines, and can be downloaded for free on iOS and Android devices.

    For more information on Pulse, its features, and the free COVID-19 protection offer, visit https://www.wedopulse.com/ph/.




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