Patients in the UK to tell AI computers ‘where it hurts’

People in the UK with a toothache or other health problem may in the near future receive their first consultation with artificial intelligence software rather than a GP’s receptionist or private practitioner. One of Finland’s first AI-based preliminary patient care systems just opened to the public in the UK’s capital city, London.

Programme is designed to recognise health conditions and prioritise based on the urgency of the ailment.

Klinik Healthcare Solutions is now active in the UK and is offering to the UK healthcare providers an algorithm-driven assessment programme to help automate preliminary patient care. Developed by the Finnish company Klinik Healthcare Solutions, the programme is designed to recognise health conditions and prioritise based on the urgency of the ailment.

“In acute situations, the programme’s AI suggests that customers contact emergency dental services immediately. The evaluation of the need for care is suspended at this point,” says Hanna-Mari Komonen, Director in dental services in City of Vantaa. In less urgent cases, dental service personnel contact the customer on the next business day at the latest.

The goal is to speed up the evaluation process.

The service presents a series of questions that ask customers to describe their symptoms and makes deductions about the specific type of dental care required.

24/7 help

The goal is to speed up the evaluation process, as the electronic service would be available 24 hours a day. The new service is hoped to help ease up long waiting times for phone consultations and appointments. Additionally, after the virtual consultation, symptoms and complaints will be known to dental staff when employees contact the person to book an appointment.

Depending on the urgency assessment, the programme also assists with patient flow management by suggesting that customers book a time, for example, in three days or three weeks.

Long-term plans for cost-cutting digitalisation

Klinik Healthcare Solutions has introduced e-services to its health care services with a real-time chat service and a similar Klinik AI programme that has been in use at the Finland healthcare Systems since last August 2017.

This will lead to more effective use of healthcare resources, improve the service and cut costs.

There are plans in the UK to further develop the electronic booking services and even roll out remote consultations. The idea is to increase the number of self-service opportunities. This will lead to more effective use of healthcare resources and following that, improve the service and cut costs.

What about the safety of my personal data? The developers, Klinik Healthcare Solutions, say the programme has strong checks in place and has been operationalised without issue in regional health care centres in Finland. “We use a one-way encryption method that doesn’t require any passwords or bank codes to log in. Analysis from our data security experts has established that the service is a safe place to operate,” says Jukka Happonen, the head of product development at Klinik.