Building best in class chatbots during COVID-19: Lessons learned during the pandemic




30 June 2021

15:00 – 16:30 CEST

1 hour 30 minutes

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The World Health Organization is inviting you to the webinar “Building best in class chatbots during COVID-19”. WHO, governments, NGOs, academia and the private sector, will come together to discuss and share lessons learned during the pandemic.

Chatbots are software programmes that interact with people over voice or text. Even before COVID-19, they played an important role in healthcare and the use of AI-enabled solutions is expected to increase even more in the coming years. During the pandemic, with even some of the most resilient health systems overwhelmed, people have turned towards alternatives when it comes to information and advice for their health. For many, their mobile phone is the primary source of information and chatbots are in the spotlight now more than ever.

The panels will discuss what’s new in the sector, how to fight the infodemic through language, usability and accessibility of chatbots and will share the biggest challenges and lessons learned over the past year. WHO will share a series of recent research papers with all participants.

As part of this webinar, there will be some pre-recorded videos on chatbots and AI for health from the Buenos Aires City Government, NHSX, Soul Machines, Viber, WhatsApp and WHO. These videos in the entirety will be available post the event, as on-demand content and some short snippets will be shown during the live stream.

Moderator: Catherine Cheney – Senior Reporter, Devex

Welcoming Remarks: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – WHO Director-General
Opening remarks: Dr Soumya Swaminathan - Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization

This webinar will be conducted in English

Panel 1 - Chatting for health: helping people during COVID-19

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Gustav Praekelt


Founder at, Co-Founder at

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Cristiane Reis


Director, WhatsApp LATAM

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Fred Smith


Technology Team Lead, CDC

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Tanya Accone

Senior Adviser on Innovation at Scale, UNICEF

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Horacio Rodríguez Larreta


Mayor of Buenos Aires City

Panel 2 – Fighting Covid misinformation through chatbots: language, accessibility and usability

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Hannah Behrendt


Principal Advisor - Head of Health, Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)

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Kerstin Trikalitis


CEO and Co-Founder Out There Media, Chairperson Out There Impact

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Melisa Basol


Co-creator at GoViral!


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