Microsoft gold partner Satalyst has partnered with the South Australian government’s Lifetime Support Authority (LSA) to develop a bot to improve the agency’s capabilities to support road trauma victims.
The LSA oversees the provision of services to people who sustain serious injuries, such as brain injuries, spinal cord injuries including paraplegia and quadriplegia, amputations, burns and blindness, on the roads in South Australia.
Participants each have a MyPlan, created in partnership with LSA, which helps steer treatment, care and support. It also provides a metric to measure progress against goals, to tailor services to help meet those goals, and then to establish fresh goals to support people to progress towards their aspirations and maximise their quality of life.
“About 75 percent of the participants in our scheme have a brain injury, and commonly with a brain injury, cognitive fatigue is predominant,” LSA director for services Rebecca Singh said.
She said the agency’s service planners would often experience getting so fatigued during data gathering meetings that a scheduled two-hour sessions usually get cut down to half an hour as they struggle to continue.
Satalyst, through Microsoft’s Cognitive Services bot framework on Azure, developed a pilot to help the agency improve its data gathering capabilities for MyPlan and provide services more efficiently.
Being cloud-based, the bot can allow participants to complete the World Health Organisation’s Quality of Life (Whoqol) self-assessment — as part of MyPlan — when and where they want.
Those taking part in the pilot are also providing the underlying information that service planners need to start developing MyPlans.
“It enables the service planner to have that component of the process already completed. When they then go out to meet the participants to develop the rest of their MyPlan, they can be more targeted in the activities or the questions that they’re asking rather than having to start from scratch,” Singh said.
“And it also enables the participant to do these activities in their own time, in their own comfort, when it suits them at the pace that suits them. Pacing is quite important in brain injury.”
The LSA also decided to not name the bot, leaving it up to the participants of the scheme to come up with one — in their own time.
Singh added that the key to success has been keeping an open mind about how technology can be used to address pressure points, and working with a partner able to navigate both the technology and the use case with sensitivity and understanding.
“The next step will be applying this concept to the whole MyPlan process. So that our participants can go through all the pre-assessments that we normally do – and then they themselves plan their goals, work out what services they think are going to meet their goals, and which provider they think is going to be able to provide services to meet those goals,” Singh said.
“Then all our service planners will be doing is going out and reviewing the MyPlan with them, making sure that there are no other opportunities that they’re missing out on that we need to add in there, and making sure it meets our legislative need in terms of providing necessary and reasonable services to our participants.
“It’ll very much put the participant genuinely at the driving seat of developing their own services and in control of their own lives.”