An NHS trust in Liverpool collaborates with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to develop an AI chatbot to decrease patient wait times.
For many years, lengthy NHS wait times have become the norm for Brits. But the COVID backlog has led to a substantial rise in the number of patients on waiting lists:
The NHS counts on AI chatbots to improve patient experience
Everyone can agree that the current trajectory is unsustainable, notwithstanding that there are many divergent opinions about the type of NHS reforms required. Delivering the improvements that will benefit both NHS employees and patients will rely heavily on modern technologies.
This is not the first time the NHS has put an AI chatbot into action. In February, the organization utilized an AI chatbot to aid those with health problems like anxiety, stress, and depression. The AI-chatbot employed natural language understanding (NLU) to support users through interactive conversation and offer guidance based on cognitive-behavioral strategies that have undergone clinical examination. Each Wysa response is customized to the user’s current needs.
The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and TCS have joined forces to create digital solutions that will boost experts’ productivity, shorten patient wait times, and enhance the patient experience.
The trial’s objective was to offer scientific proof that prescription AI CBT at the moment of referral lessens anxiety and depressive symptoms. Additionally, it intends to demonstrate through clinical proof that Wysa can reliably identify when individuals are dealing with more serious mental health issues and automatically identify those who require more intensive or urgent care.
Now addressing the current collaboration, Business Unit Head of Public Services for the UK, Europe, and ANZ at TCS, Shalini Mathur, states:
“We are pleased to partner with The Walton Centre to transform patient care in the UK using next-gen technologies. These technologies and solutions will help reduce waiting times for patients while improving the productivity of specialist consultants. This creates a blueprint for similar digital innovation in other clinical settings.”
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This partnership’s initial offering is a chatbot that attempts to revolutionize how headache patients are identified and treated.
A headache can range from being minor to potentially lethal or permanently altering. Anyone who thinks their headache could be unusual should have it examined, but selecting which individuals should be given priority is a crucial but challenging responsibility.
At The Walton Centre, patients experiencing headaches account for most outpatient referrals to neurologists. Using a chatbot will make it possible to gather details about the patient’s condition and create a thorough report that clinicians can evaluate before the initial appointment.
Depending on the clinician’s evaluation, a patient can be given advice on symptom relief while waiting for their turn or on a fast track for an examination.
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Dr. Anita Krishnan, Consultant Neurologist and Divisional Clinical Director for Neurology at The Walton Centre, made the following observation:
“Technology is a huge part of medicine, and it’s exciting to work with TCS to create a new artificial intelligence-based solution that will help our patients. The chatbot system also has the potential to be extended into other areas of medicine, which could benefit even more patients.”
We are working closely with TCS and our other specialist partners to ensure the new solution is effective and safe and improves efficiency and patient outcomes,” she added.
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However small the initial trial may be, AI chatbots have the potential to improve the NHS significantly. Chatbots can ensure that patients are given proper attention, saving consultants’ precious time from having to ask questions about data that can be gathered in advance.
Although chatbots won’t be able to address every issue facing the NHS, they should benefit employees and patients.
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