Interactive Voice Response systems for informing citizens about the COVID-19 pandemic: A study on Brazil's Disque Saúde




In order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it is vital to adopt measures to inform citizens about preventive actions. Such an operation requires a wide-ranged system that comprises a variety of interfaces as channels between citizens and healthcare authority’s information services. Amongst such interfaces, the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems can present benefits for informing citizens about the pandemic. Although the literature shows that IVR systems have been used for healthcare, the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic demands new examinations on the role of IVR systems on a multiplatform system for delivering information. This paper aimed to identify gaps and opportunities for the use of IVR systems to inform citizens about the COVID-19 pandemic. A case study was conducted by mapping the Brazilian Ministry of Healthcare’s channels of information about the coronavirus and analyzing the Disque Saúde IVR system – a phone-based ombudsman channel -  based on literature recommendations. The results showed that while IVR systems have great potential for accessibility, it is essential that all types of information are available and continuously updated for citizens. Furthermore, the vast and mutable availability of information in a pandemic scenario may be a challenge for the usability of such systems. 

Author Biography

Isabela Motta, LEUI | Laboratory of Ergodesign and Usability of Interfaces - PUC-Rio

Department of Arts and Design, Masters student






Specific design responses to the on-going crisis