Not long ago, a U.K. startup announced their artificial intelligence (AI) online self-diagnosis system that might replace a visit to your doctor. Now, we hear news about AI nurse. It seems that AI systems for the health care industry a trend.
This new trend in health care should not be surprising, since it's easy to see the appeal of skipping a doctor's appointment and solving your health issues online, as long as the technology proves itself to be safe and efficient. With an online AI system you don't have to commute going to the doctor's office, wait in line, keeping up with screaming kids or be worried about the risk of catching germs from other patients.
Up to date, they designed some online diagnosis systems empowered by real doctors. However, for doctors, according to physician Ray Costantini, these online appointments are not so convenient since they can take just as much time as in-person visits.
Constantini explained further that, in fact, while he was running Providence Health and Services' Tele-health program, he noticed that sometimes online appointments could take even longer than in-person visits to a doctor's cabinet. It seems that undermines the key arguments for online consults arguing that online visits would cost less because they are shorter.
His own experience as an online health care provider made Costantini co-founding Bright.md. This is an Oregon-based tele-health startup aiming to automate most of an online doctor's visit. By doing that, the AI system allows cutting the total time spent by a doctor on each appointment from an average of around 20 minutes to just 90 seconds.
This is a different approach than Your.md of the UK startup, which is using an artificial intelligence system for self-diagnosis and bypassing totally the need for a doctor. Costantini's approach is more conservative but safer.
The doctor hopes that Bright.md will dramatically cut the cost of everyday health care, while still keeping on the safe side by being supervised by a physician. His approach makes use of AI systems to replace the nurse, the online system playing the role of a virtual one.
Before getting to talk with a doctor, Bright.md's AI app will guide patients through a "smart exam" in order to gather basic medical data. In addition to the "smart exam," the software generates automatically chart notes, insurance coding and other paperwork. By automating the most repetitive parts of a doctor's job, the artificial intelligence system empower doctors to focus more only on treating their patients.
The artificial intelligence system allows the application to dynamically adapt the questions according to your patients' answers, somehow in the manner of online dating sites such as OkCupid. By using a proprietary artificial intelligence system, Bright.md will deliver a preliminary diagnosis and treatment plan to a real doctor, who only has to check it, turning to a supervisor role for the AI.
Patients using the Bright.md online AI system will still get to consult with a real doctor and get medical care from a real person, not from a computer. This makes Constantini's approach easier to be accepted by the general public than the U.K.'s startup AI self-diagnosis system.
To date, Bright.md is not the first company trying to assist doctors with AI help. Another startup called Enlitic makes use of cutting-edge AI technology to assist doctors diagnosing their patients. IBM's Watson platform is used by cancer researchers to help them in their studies aiming to find new treatments.