Etihad Airways has launched a COVID-19 risk assessment tool that will “empower guests to make informed decisions about travelling,” it announced in a statement. The national airline of the United Arab Emirates partnered with Vienna-based healthcare technology company Medicus AI to provide this offering.
The tool works by guiding would-be Etihad travellers through a 22-question assessment that’s powered by artificial intelligence (AI), and based on World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines that are updated daily. Based on the answers, the tool would reportedly be able to assess the customer’s probability of having contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
“With this risk-assessment tool, guests will understand their individual probability of having contracted the virus, alongside [receiving] advisories and recommendations, allowing them to make informed decisions about travelling,” the airline elaborated.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Medicus AI is known for its smart platform and app that interprets and translates medical reports and health data into easy-to-understand, personalised explanations and health insights. The platform covers information such as biomarker data, and full health profiles and family history. With the data, its smart coaching function offers health tips and actionable steps “towards building sustainable healthy habits.”
With offices in Dubai, Beirut, Paris and Berlin, Medicus AI also works with partners – such as diagnostic labs, hospitals, insurance companies, and now airlines – to provide health and medical data interpretation, analysis, and actionable insights.
“Our initial efforts at the start of the pandemic were to help provide assessment and monitoring tools, and as needs shift, our efforts have evolved to help our partners bring people back to their day-to-day life in a safe manner,” said Medicus AI CEO, Baher Al Hakim.
Earlier this month, Etihad Airways launched Etihad Wellness, an “expanded and more comprehensive health and hygiene programme and customer guide” designed to build on the measures already in place by the airline to manage the COVID-19 outbreak.
The programme is fronted by specially trained “Wellness Ambassadors” to provide essential travel health information and care for guests.
ON THE RECORD
“We know that health and wellbeing will be a major factor impacting the travel decisions of our guests and are committed to ensuring their continued safety and peace of mind when they choose to travel with Etihad Airways,” said Frank Meyer, chief digital officer of Etihad Airways. “As flying operations begin to resume globally, we want to empower our guests to make informed decisions on travel. Partnering with Medicus AI on this innovative new tool is just one of the ways we are adapting our operations and guest experience to meet the new demands placed on the travel industry as a result of COVID-19.”
Etihad Airways – which operates out of Abu Dhabi – has already resumed flights to a number of destinations, with the Medicus AI tool now available on Etihad.com and soon on the Etihad Airways mobile app. It is available in English, with additional languages, including Arabic, French, German and Portuguese being added in phases.
Meanwhile, neighbouring Dubai has already announced it is to begin welcoming visitors from 7 July 2020. However, it is not known if the state-owned flag carrier airline will be employing a similar risk-assessment tool. At the time of publishing, Emirates had not responded to requests for comment.