Building a chatbot to help me cope... A what??

Last updated: November 2018

Hi all, this story starts about 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. At first, I just tried to ignore it. But as you all know, that is not really an option. Soon I realized that everything I did was impacting the severity of the disease... every move I made seemed to change this disease. That's not easy to deal with.

One of the biggest issues I faced was in between doctor visits. I have bi-yearly visits to the doctor when in remission... and remission of course being relatively healthy. Because at all times extreme fatigue and other known symptoms are just there because 'they come with the territory'. Now that mindset was something I needed to change.

As I work in tech, I started thinking about ways to solve this problem for myself. I want the highest standard when it comes to quality of life, but not sure how to get there. There is a lot to read, a lot of diary-keeping that can be done.. but this is exhausting by itself. And just like many other people, I gave up after a few days. So I needed a better solution.

This solution is a chatbot. A what?? A chatbot. This is basically a computer-driven coach, who I have conversations with. Natural conversations about everything that impacts my symptoms. And without me realizing it, this chatbot coach is monitoring me, keeping my diary for me, and looking for patterns that make the disease worse. She gives me recommendations to make changes, and to get to that optimal quality of life.

Now.. this chatbot (her name is Nori by the way) is in a stage where it will become available not just to me, but to everyone else as well. In January we will start the official trial to prove the positive outcomes before launching Norihealth publicly.

I'm interested to find out how you guys think about technology and it's role in day-to-day management.. as an extension to our doctor / medical care. And thanks for reading this.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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