Sick people are to be given the chance to trial a new artificial intelligence app which will give them advice on what course of action they need to take.
The new app is to be offered to more than a million people across north London as an alternative to the existing 111 phone consultation service.
It is hoped the service will help ease the considerable pressure on hospitals, particularly Accident and Emergency departments, which are currently facing unprecedented demand amid funding cuts and an increasingly elderly population. The NHS would of needed to think of Logos, content and what the audience wants to see. If they used a Branding Agency found at links including http://www.reallyhelpfulmarketing.co.uk/services/brand-development-gloucester/
However, some experts believe the opposite outcome is more likely – in other words, that more people will be directed to A&E. They also fear the app will miss serious illnesses.
What is the app?
Developed by medical firm Babylon Health, the app is one of several online resources due to be tested and piloted in different parts of the country in the coming months.
It will be offered to people calling the NHS 111 service and will enable them to type in their symptoms and concerns to be assessed by a ‘chatbot’ instead of talking to a human being.
What about the 111 service?
According to the NHS, the 111 service connects people to a highly trained adviser, who is able to give advice on how urgent the caller’s condition is, and advise them of the next step they need to take.
However, the 111 service has been deluged with problems and met with much criticism since it was introduced a few years ago. Critics say it leads to too many people being directed to hospital when they do not need to go, and also that it can and does miss urgent cases.
Several experts are already warning that the same problems – and worse – will be seen if the new app is rolled out throughout the country.
Some believe it is a simplistic system which could lead to deaths and, at the same time, fill up already overstretched A&E departments with people who do not need urgent attention.
Just as new apps need testing, any new treatment needs to pass a strict assessment process, which may include the use of a contract research organization.
This process helps get new drugs and devices to patients who need them in the quickest way possible.