Telemedicine is a topic that I’ve touched on numerous times on this blog over the past year or so, with a number of platforms emerging to offer patients the opportunity to consult with a medical professional from anywhere in the world.
Most of these platforms are clinical based, such as the Babylon service, and therefore provide you with access to doctors when you have something wrong with you.
There are however, also a number that are taking a more preventative approach and seek to keep you healthier in the first place. For instance, last autumn I wrote about the Vida platform that is providing coaching and support to ensure you stay out of the emergency room altogether.
Of course, all of these services require a human healthcare professional at the other end of your video call to answer your queries for you.
Sense.ly are taking another approach by offering an AI based nurse, called Molly, who aims to provide help and support in those periods between appointments with real life professionals.
The service is aimed specifically at patients with common medical conditions such as diabetes or heart failure. The patient signs up to the site either direct or via their GP, and the platform then draws up a personalized care plan for them based upon both their medical records and the individual needs of the patient.
The patient then follows this prescribed plan (hopefully), with regular check-ins with the virtual nurse via their smartphone or computer to help their progress.
Doctors can also access information via the site to see how their patient is getting on, whilst the system will alert them automatically if worrying symptoms begin to emerge.
I’ve written previously about the important role the appearance of avatars has on how we engage with them, so Molly has been designed with a friendly face and a softly spoken voice.
She interacts with patients using voice recognition technology and can ask relatively simple questions of the patient whilst guiding them through exercise plans and collecting medical data from them.
This data can then be analyzed by a doctor (although AI analysis seems inevitable), whilst the patient can also use Molly as a sort of health PA and book appointments with their doctor through her.
With voice recognition technology growing at an incredible pace and the AI grunt of services such as Watson increasingly capable of making complex decisions, this seems the beginning of an inevitable trend towards more automated healthcare.
Check out the video below that explains more about Molly and the service she offers.