Microsoft partner Satalyst has worked with the Lifetime Support Authority (LSA) in South Australia to build a pilot bot, designed to improve the process of completing forms and interviews by people who were injured in road accidents.
According to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, approximately 36,000 people were hospitalised following land-transport crashes in 2014-15.
LSA is responsible for overseeing the provision of services to those who sustain serious injuries such as brain or spinal cord injuries.
According to Microsoft, one of LSA's main concerns centres around understanding participants’ challenges to ensure the most appropriate services are delivered. However, due to the nature of their injuries the process of completing forms or interviews can be stressful.
“About 75 per cent of the participants in our scheme have a brain injury, and commonly with a brain injury, cognitive fatigue is predominant,” said Rebecca Singh, director services at LSA.
Therefore, LSA worked with Satalyst to maintain an accurate process without resulting in the participant's fatigue.
The Perth-based provider leveraged Microsoft’s cognitive services bot framework, which is built on Microsoft Azure, to create a pilot for LSA that could improve the process.
“Having the participant-assisted bot is about starting the process of giving them control over their planning,” Singh said.
The bot was developed to allow participants to complete the World Health Organisation’s Quality of Life (Whoqol) self-assessment. Participants of the scheme have a MyPlan, which helps steer their treatment, care and support.
In this pilot phase, participants completing the Whoqol are providing the underlying information that LSA’s service planners need to start developing their MyPlan.
“It enables the service planner to have that component of the process already completed," Singh said.
"When they then go out to meet the participants to develop the rest of their MyPlan, they can be more targeted in the activities or the questions that they’re asking rather than having to start from scratch.
"And it also enables the participant to do these activities in their own time, in their own comfort, when it suits them at the pace that suits them. Pacing is quite important in brain injury."
Singh said the key to success thus far has been keeping an open mind about how technology can be used to address particular pressure points, and also working with a service provider able to navigate both the technology and the use case with sensitivity and understanding.
“The next step will be applying this concept to the whole MyPlan process," Singh added.
"So that our participants can go through all the pre-assessments that we normally do – and then they themselves plan their goals, work out what services they think are going to meet their goals, and which provider they think is going to be able to provide services to meet those goals.
"Then all our service planner will be doing is going out and reviewing the MyPlan with them, making sure that there are no other opportunities that they’re missing out on that we need to add in there, and making sure it meets our legislative need in terms of providing necessary and reasonable services to our participants."