Pahola, the first digital therapist to stop alcohol consumption

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If you want to stop 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 black digital woman with kinky hair and very smiling devised by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) thanks to artificial intelligence.

Through the 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 may not understand the accent,” Maristela Monteiro, an expert in alcohol consumption, told AFP. of PAHO.

The digital specialist proposes that the user respond to a questionnaire, to find out their origin, age, how much alcohol they consume, but “it is totally anonymous and confidential, the data is not saved,” says Monteiro.

Then he proposes to do a test so that the person who consults them realizes how much alcohol he drinks.

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

“Alcohol is the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability among 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 consumption, Pahola can help them create a plan that includes identifying triggers and how to deal with them, says PAHO, but is not a substitute for an expert.

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