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WEBMD DITCHES AVATAR FOR TEXT-BASED ASSISTANT

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WebMD's familiar human avatar-based symptom checker has had a face lift and now has a much more clinical feel and features symptom prediction in the text boxes.

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“We did a lot of user research and, watching people use the tool, they definitely identified the brand experience [of the human figure] and connected to it, but it wasn’t always the best way to enter certain types of symptoms,” Ben Greenberg, WebMD’s VP of mobile products and user experience, told MobiHealthNews. “When you have symptoms like fever, fatigue, chill, anxiety, sweating, it’s not really obvious immediately where you should point on a body to indicate those.”

The new symptom checker should work well, it is based on clinical decision support tools with the language modified to be more understandable by patients.

“The reason it could never be exposed to consumers isn’t just the availability of it. It’s because there’s this extensive clinical symptomology and these diagnoses that are just not in consumer-friendly terms,” Greenberg said. “So what you have is an in-house team of doctors spending quite a while translating this into consumer-friendly terms, which means that consumers now have access to a professional-grade symptom-checker, but they don’t need a medical degree to understand the results that we provide.”

 

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