1

Enabling Online Consultations via a Chatbot During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Healthcare
C#
Angular
.NET

Description

Brief results of the collaboration:

  • By delivering a chatbot, the company enabled 150 dental clinics and hundreds of private orthodontists to provide online consultation during the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, 5,000 patients received remote treatment.
  • The customer built a web application that automated appointment scheduling, allowing doctors to focus on treating patients instead of wasting time on manual processes.
  • The company achieved high availability of its flagship product, troubleshooting performance issues and reducing data upload time from hours to less than a minute.

The customer

The company is a U.S. provider of automation solutions for dental clinics and private practices. The customer has a flagship product—a patient management system. Founded in 2012, the company serves around 6,000 private orthodontists across the USA and Canada.

The need

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the USA the most with almost 9 million infected. So, efficient operation of healthcare institutions and patient management were key to preventing the spread of the disease. The customer’s flagship product was used by 150 clinics and hundreds of private dentists who faced issues when uploading data (appointment details, intended procedures, etc.) to the system. This could take from 1.5 to 12 hours resulting in doctors’ inability to work.

Many of these dentists were also using an open-source software for managing a database of patients. However, appointment scheduling was still a manual process distracting doctors from vital routines.

Relying on Altoros, the customer wanted to deliver a chatbot for online consultations, automating appointment scheduling, and enable online payments for patients.

The challenges

Under the project, the team at Altoros had to address the following issues:

  • The customer wanted to integrate a particular online payment system. However, the system’s API was not mature enough for production due to some security issues.
  • Each dentist was utilizing a different version of the open-source software that complied with his/her PC or laptop. This also meant different versions of the databases in use. In this regard, it was important to achieve unification across all the supported databases and prevent any data loss.

The solution

Engineers at Altoros created a chatbot that allowed doctors to provide virtual consultations based on photos and complaints shared by patients. Our developers also made it possible for private doctors or healthcare institutions to integrate this chatbot to their websites.

To improve the speed of uploading data to the customer’s flagship product, the team at Altoros enabled the system to process data chunks (each with 1,000 entries) in parallel. This allowed to reduce the uploading time from 1.5–12 hours to less than a minute.

By implementing best practices of test-driven development, our engineers prevented the possibility of performance issues in the future and achieved high availability.

Then, developers at Altoros built a web app for dentist using the open-source software and their patients. Using this app, orthodontists could automatically schedule appointments, and patients could pay for the visits online.

To integrate the payment system into this app and eliminate the risk of security breaches, our engineers implemented browser encryption certificates.

To achieve unification across 40+ versions of databases, the team at Altotos utilized the approach that ensures data consistency regardless of the software version in use.

Finally, our developers enabled SMS and e-mail notifications about the upcoming appointments using Hangfire.

150

clinics use a chatbot

5,000

chatbot users

1 min

uploading speed

The outcome

Partnering with Altoros, the customer developed a chatbot that enabled 150 dental clinics and hundreds of private orthodontists to provide virtual consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to this chatbot, 5,000 patients have already received remote treatment. The company also achieved high availability of its flagship product, minimizing the risks of performance issues in future and speeding up data upload from 1.5–12 hours to less than a minute. This allowed dentists to focus on their working routines and helping people.

With the delivered web application, the organization automated appointment scheduling and enabled secure online payments for medical procedures.

Technology stack

Platform

IIS

Programming languages

C#, TypeScript

Frameworks and tools

Azure App Service, .NET Core 3.1, Angular, EF Core, Hangfire, SendGrid

Database

MySQL

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