Microsoft is launching a new chatbot called “Plasmabot” to encourage recovered COVID-19 patients to donate their plasma in the hope of developing a treatment for the disease. It works by guiding patients through a series of questions to determine if they are a plasma donor candidate. If they are found suitable, they will be directed to a safe facility for plasma extraction.
“Convalescent plasma is very promising as a candidate for immediate treatment, especially as we continue to see mixed results from the repurposed drugs and their trial readouts. It’s not an antibody being made and scaled and mass produced in a lab. The limitation here is that we need enough people to have recovered and enough of these antibodies (quantity) to use in ailing new patients,” Artis Ventures biotech investor Vasudev Bailey expressed.
Microsoft developed Plasmabot to help address this limitation by encouraging recovered patients to participate and donate. It was developed to help the work of the “CoVIg-19 Plasma Alliance” – a consortium of pharmaceutical companies that aims to develop an experimental treatment for COVID-19. The treatment is being regulated by the FDA as an investigational product – is has no FDA approval at this time.