Millions of people around the world are living with arthritis. In the United States alone, the Centers for Disease Control puts that figure at nearly 23 million, or one in every four adults. But as common as it is, arthritis is actually just one word used to describe the joint inflammation associated with over 200 musculoskeletal conditions that affect everyone differently. This means people who seek out information about their condition online are often met with a barrage of confusing literature or conflicting pieces of advice that don’t address their individual symptoms.
So British charity Arthritis Research UK and IBM Watson are trying to solve that problem with the introduction of a web and mobile-based virtual personal assistant for people in the UK, where about 10 million people are living with the condition. Created with the Watson Conversation API – which allows for quick, simple building of chatbots or virtual agents across mobile devices, messaging platforms or physical robots – the digital assistant draws information from the Arthritis Research UK library and specific input from the user to offer personalized, immediate advice on symptom management, treatment options and any other questions they may have.
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