In 2014, when Ankush Sabharwal was travelling from Delhi to Bengaluru, a co-passenger’s mother fell unconscious. Ankush and other fellow passengers tried but failed to find a doctor on the train, and the passenger and his mother had to disembark at the next station to go to a nearby hospital. 

“The next day, as I was going across coaches to find a plug point to charge my phone, there happened to be a doctor in another coach,” Ankush recalls. 

He asked what if passengers on trains, buses, and flights could connect on an app? A few years later in 2016, Ankush co-founded CoRover in Bengaluru, along with Rahul Ranjan, Manav Gandotra, and Kunal Bhakhri. 

CoRover uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to connect travellers, administrative staff, and verified and curated service providers on its conversational, contextual, multi-lingual, and omnichannel platform, Ask Disha.

At present, the startup’s conversational AI platform Ask Disha has over 20 billion interactions, and is used by over 200 million users. CoRover has also applied for two patents for its product.  

Helping with COVID-19 queries 

With the coronavirus pandemic causing chaos all around, CoRover is looking at answering queries and clearing doubts people might have around the disease. 

To this effect, it launched AI-based doctor-video bot AskDoc, which addresses queries related to the novel coronavirus transmission and contagion control. The platform is also supported by multilingual voice and text formats, like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and even French and German

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a stir in our lives, bringing uncertainty, psychological stress, health anxiety, social distancing, quarantine, and financial stress with income and savings on the backburner. The healthcare community is doing an exceptional job in these tough times. But burnout among the healthcare community is a serious cause of concern,” Ankush says

He believes that most queries can be answered by an AI-bot doctor. AskDoc provides its users with automatic, quick responses to queries about the coronavirus along with safety measures announced by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and WHO.

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