Irish health company launches Facebook Messenger bot for runners

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  • Vhi Healthcare, the largest health insurance provider in Ireland, has announced the launch of Vee, a new chatbot designed to encourage Irish people to take up running - and to motivate them to keep at it when their enthusiasm begins to wane.

    Chatbots are becoming an increasingly popular tool for large enterprises and startups to automate user interactions, with the market research firm, MarketsandMarkets, predicting that the global chatbot market will be worth more than $3 billion within the next four years. 

    The Vee chatbot, which will interact with users via Facebook Messenger, will offer runners training advice, fitness tips, nutritional information and ideas on how they can stay motivated.

    Maeve O’Gorman, Digital Strategy Lead at Vhi Healthcare, explained: “As Ireland’s leading health insurer Vhi actively supports people in their pursuit of a healthier lifestyle by partnering with events such as the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and parkrun in partnership with Vhi.

    “Vee is another way for the brand to support people on their running journey. We know that our customers are looking for personalised and relevant information to support their health and fitness goals, and by presenting it to them in the form of Vee we are helping them to take steps towards feeling healthier, happier and better every single day”.

    Vhi’s new chatbot will offer Irish consumers that are new to running guidance on how to stretch, warm up and cool down, in order to ensure inexperienced runners don’t suffer an injury, and will also provide reminders and prompts to encourage users to stick to their training routines. 

    Ed Melvin, Digital Strategy Director at Publicis Dublin, the creative agency that worked with Vhi to design and develop the chatbot, said: “Vhi has always been at the forefront of innovation in healthcare in Ireland. 

    “Here in Publicis, we were delighted to design and develop Vee, working with the Vhi team. Vhi’s commitment to innovation and providing their customer with the best possible support makes them one of the most exciting clients to work with.”

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