Pahola, the first digital therapist to quit alcohol consumption

If you want to quit drinking, Pahola, the world’s first digital health worker launched this Friday by PAHO to help the Americas reduce alcohol consumption, helps you with a smile and without judgment.

Pahola is a curly-haired, smiling black digital woman imagined by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) using artificial intelligence.

By phone or computer, you can chat with her in Spanish, Portuguese or English, and if you prefer to write to her, “because sometimes the machine can not understand the accent,” Maristela Monteiro, expert in alcohol consumption. . of PAHO.

The digital specialist offers the user to answer a questionnaire, to find out his origin, his age, the amount of alcohol he consumes, but “it is completely anonymous and confidential, the data is not saved” , says Monteiro.

Then he offers to do a test so that the person who consults them can see how much alcohol he is drinking.

Alcohol consumption takes a heavy toll in the Americas, with some 379,000 deaths per year directly or indirectly, according to PAHO data.

“Alcohol is the main risk factor for premature death and disability in people aged 15 to 49,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), in a video message. during the launch of Pahola.

Regular alcohol consumption also increases the risk of liver cirrhosis and some forms of cancer and cardiovascular disease, the organization adds.

If the person decides to cut down on alcohol, Pahola can help them create a plan that includes identifying triggers and how to deal with them, PAHO says, but does not replace an expert.

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