How does it work?

Learn about the technology used in the Virtual Mentor system and how health workers are using it

The Virtual Mentor platform integrates proprietary algorithmic content, text-to-speech software, any off-the-shelf device that runs Android OS, and Bluetooth-connected speaker/microphone hardware. This integration is accomplished in unique configurations, depending on each context for use.
For example, in the highest-level care facilities in Nairobi, Kenya, users access Virtual Mentor from a large, fixed smart screen that is connected to Wi-Fi or a data plan. In a frontline facility in rural Kenya, users access Virtual Mentor as an app downloaded to their phones that functions offline and requires intermittent syncs.
With the Virtual Mentor application on, users engage in speech-only conversation to keep their hands free for direct patient care. The audible conversation is prioritized, but scrolling visual prompts are available on-screen to support the user if desired. Streamlined algorithms rely on simple user answers such as “yes,” “no,” and numerals (within ranges appropriate for the questions). Simple function commands include “next,” “repeat,” “go back,” and “stop.”
On the back end, Virtual Mentor documents each use and its outcome with time- and geo- stamps. Virtual Mentor can support health workers in almost any clinical scenario, and is limited only by the rate of content creation.
Virtual Mentor engages the health worker in real-time problem solving to treat an emergency by providing access to the most up-to-date algorithmic management guidance through a hands-free conversation. Leapfrogging over other tools in this space, Virtual Mentor innovates beyond what is currently available to frontline health workers in low-income country contexts.

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