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Can Homegrown AI Chatbot 'Hanooman' Disrupt Patient Engagement in India?

Written by : Jayati Dubey

May 14, 2024

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Jointly developed by SML India and 3AI Holding, the chatbot aims for wide accessibility and inclusivity.

The homegrown generative AI chatbot 'Hanooman' has officially launched in 98 languages, including 12 Indian languages, marking a significant step in advancing AI technology for widespread accessibility.

Developed jointly by Telangana-based SML India and Abu Dhabi-headquartered 3AI Holding, the chatbot aims to cater to diverse linguistic preferences, enabling users to engage with it in their preferred language.

'Hanooman' will be available in various vernacular mediums, including Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, and Kannada, as well as globally spoken languages such as English, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, and Korean.

The development of 'Hanooman' involved collaborative efforts between SML India and 3AI Holding, with the latter providing specialized large language models (LLMs) to derive insights.

SML India's CEO, Vishnu Vardhan, outlined plans to enhance the chatbot's functionality by adding multimodal capabilities, enabling it to process inputs such as speech, audio, video, and images.

"With its launch, we aim to impact the lives of 200 Mn users within the first year alone… Hanooman's capabilities to support Indian languages will bring Gen AI to the reach of everyone in India and open massive opportunities for companies and startups bringing Gen AI products to the market," said Vardhan.

The launch of 'Hanooman' comes amid a burgeoning AI market in India, projected to surpass $17 billion by 2030, as per Inc42's 'India's Generative AI Startup Landscape 2023' report.

While OpenAI's ChatGPT remains dominant in terms of user base, global tech giants such as Meta and Google are also making strides in the Indian AI market with their offerings.

Meta recently rolled out its GenAI chatbot for Indian users across all its platforms, while Google launched Gemini globally.

How Chatbots Can Disrupt Healthcare Delivery

Chatbots like 'Hanooman' can transform healthcare delivery by streamlining processes and enhancing patient care. These AI-powered tools automate appointment scheduling and symptom assessment tasks, reducing administrative burdens on medical staff.

They offer instant responses to patient queries, provide medical assistance, and even deliver mental health support through cognitive behavioral therapy.

By integrating with existing systems, chatbots empower healthcare providers to focus on patient care while ensuring smooth operations. They also enable patients by offering personalized interactions, access to medical guidance, and convenient healthcare services like prescription refills and wellness program recommendations.

Chatbots' scalability allows seamless support during peak hours, enhancing productivity without additional resources. As the healthcare industry embraces digital innovation, chatbots emerge as disruptive technologies revolutionizing healthcare service delivery.

Through their innovative functionalities, they reshape healthcare by offering personalized, efficient, and accessible services to patients worldwide.

Is AI Chatbot Reliable?

Amid all the hype and hysteria around Gen AI, the risks associated with it often take a backseat. However, researchers have been flagging disinformation concerns involving AI. In a sensitive sector such as healthcare, such disinformation could be life-threatening.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that the large language models behind most of the popular AI-powered chatbots, including ChatGPT, lacked sufficient safeguards or were inconsistent in preventing the production of healthcare disinformation on their platforms.

The researchers have thus called for robust regulation, more transparency, and routine audits to prevent AI from contributing to healthcare disinformation.

Most people across the globe rely on the internet for health information. Any misleading information provided by a chatbot could potentially have a harmful impact on a patient's health.

In January this year, WHO rolled out guidance addressing the ethical and governance challenges associated with Large Multi-Modal Models.

With applications across the healthcare sector, the guidance provides over 40 recommendations for governments, technology companies, and healthcare providers to ensure the responsible and beneficial deployment of LMMs.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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