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The role of Voice AI in contact tracing

Sharath Keshavanarayana
June 19, 2020

The need for contact tracing, which aims to support patients and warn contacts of exposure in order to stop chains of transmission, has never been higher. With cases of coronavirus still on the rise, various contact tracing methods will play an important role in keeping communities informed of potential exposure and slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While contact tracing apps have been deployed in many countries such as Italy, Germany and other European nations, concerns around safeguarding privacy rights and GDPR compliance have made these efforts come into scrutiny. Voice call contact tracing offers an alternative for health officials to reach their communities in a less invasive way that can reach members of the community who don’t have access to smartphone technology. 

In order for this approach to work, health officials must have efficient processes and the ability to monitor calls in order to determine whether or not contact tracers are effectively reaching communities and mitigating the spread of the virus. That is where Voice AI comes into play.

What is Voice AI?

Voice AI is a technology that can be used to analyze 100% of calls to monitor for compliance, uncover trends, automate processes, and help contact tracers be trained on key areas in need of improvement.

voice ai dashboard


With Voice AI, key moments in conversations can be unearthed to provide a detailed picture of how teams are performing. Interaction analytics on areas like sentiment, emotion, dead air, supervisor escalations, and more can clue health officials in on not only what is being said but how it’s being said to help them take rapid action and provide the best possible patient experience.

How does Voice AI assist in contact tracing?

1. Monitor words and phrases measuring all activity from a central dashboard

A critical benefit of Voice AI is its ability to surface and auto-suggest Moments that health officials should monitor in-depth, including interactions that pick up on emotions or tones, such as sentiment, as well as keywords and phrases.

Moments can help you identify important interactions, such as compliance risks, process and script adherence, displays of empathy, and more across 100% of calls.

monitoring covid-19 related keywords
Moments can help you identify important interactions, such as compliance risks, process and script adherence, displays of empathy, and more across 100% of calls.

2. Quickly train contact tracers and execute on training programs

With a high volume of calls that need to be made, training velocity is a key piece of effective contact tracing. Contact tracers must quickly learn to locate and talk with patients and work with them to identify others who need to be contacted. With Voice AI, trainers can identify who needs additional training in areas like patient rapport building or process adherence and quickly act on it to improve performance and drive results.

coaching comment on call center voice call
Voice AI provides the the avenue for contextual feedback for agents.

3. Monitor mandatory compliance requirements to reduce compliance risks

Health officials who reach out to the public must follow protocols to protect patient rights. Otherwise, risks of HIPAA violations can place agencies under scrutiny and slow down contact tracing results. Voice AI can be used to identify moments of interest that signal a compliance breach in order to quickly pinpoint contact tracers who aren’t following procedures.

4. Uncover inefficiencies to make processes more successful

Building processes around driving consistency and efficiency leads to more phone calls being made, and in turn, can increase the footprint of contact tracing efforts. With Voice AI, uncover inefficiencies in current processes to better handle a higher volume of calls and scale community outreach efforts successfully.

5. Understand what is being said on calls with AI-based sentiment analysis 

Sentiment analysis is an indicator of how people feel about a brand, its products, and its service. Sentiment is determined based on words, tone, and volume. Uncover insights on empathy and emotion with AI-driven sentiment analysis to help contact tracers be coached on how best to handle sensitive conversations around COVID-19 and lead more empathetic conversations.

sentiment analysis on customer support calls
With Voice AI, you can analyze for positive, neutral, and negative sentiment across an entire call.

Ultimately, it will take a combination of efforts to protect communities as we see upticks in cases over the coming months. Voice AI technology can help ensure that voice call contact tracing is not only done effectively, but with empathy and compassion in order to foster transparency and build a sense of trust between health officials and affected communities. 


About the Author

Sharath Keshavnarayana is the Co-founder and CRO at Observe.AI, and has over a decade of experience in the customer care space. Connect with Sharath on LinkedIn.

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