WHO launches new website features on COVID-19

WHO’s COVID-19 webpage now features an enhanced natural language processing search bar, which understands questions posed in everyday language and more accurately delivers answers to those queries.

Unlike traditional index-based search that delivers links, when someone enters a question about COVID-19 into the search bar on WHO’s COVID-19 page, the new search finds the most accurate information related to that question from WHO’s website. Yext, the technology company that developed this search function, provides WHO’s web team with regular feedback on the questions that visitors are asking so that WHO can adapt information on the web to meet the demand.

"Natural language search allows people to better target the information they are looking for and get the most relevant information available on COVID-19," said Christopher Strebel, manager of Digital Content Experience at WHO.

For example, if somebody types “what are the symptoms of COVID-19?”, it will search across different parts of WHO’s website that provide information on symptoms to provide the most relevant answer in plain language.

Millions of people worldwide turn to WHO every day for accurate information about the coronavirus. This new feature helps WHO to deliver tailored answers so people can make informed decisions for themselves and their families.

The feature was developed in collaboration with Yext, as a part of the WHO Technology for COVID-19 Initiative, a pro-bono collaboration of technology companies brought together by WHO specifically to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.