Combating Covid-19: How voice AI apps can be a lifesaver today

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Published: April 9, 2020 5:00:16 AM

Voice AI apps can help in prevention, detection and treatment of hundreds of patients at the same time, thus helping mitigate the shortage of doctors

With increased usage and aggregation of health data, there could be a larger share of decision making based on AI to ensure a more robust healthcare system in the country.With increased usage and aggregation of health data, there could be a larger share of decision making based on AI to ensure a more robust healthcare system in the country.

Anticipating huge pressure on healthcare systems during the current Covid-19 pandemic along with growing need for healthcare information, healthtech companies have decided to stay ahead of the curve in terms of understanding the potential risk as well as providing authentic and validated information.A recent Forbes report has said that voice-driven artificial intelligence (voice AI) can help cure the time shortage on both ends of the spectrum. With increased usage and aggregation of health data, there could be a larger share of decision making based on AI to ensure a more robust healthcare system in the country.

“Voice AI will be a transformational tool in healthcare access. Knowledge interpretation and insights would be enabled by digital in healthcare. Voice will put the use of AI on steroids,’’ says Sangita Reddy, joint MD, Apollo Hospitals Group and president, Ficci. Apollo Hospitals has created an AI-powered BOT that assesses an individual’s risk of contracting coronavirus. “We believe that this will enable data-based decision making in today’s fast-changing healthcare environment. This AI-powered BOT is unique, because it combines the expertise of our Apollo doctors as well as leverages Apollo Hospitals data, along with critical global sources of health information such as WHO.”

For patients, interactive voice apps can inform and teach better than the current system of handouts, pamphlets and self-driven research and for doctors, voice apps can improve on old dictation systems, take direction to complete tasks like recording notes and ease complex billing processes.

For instance, Navia Life Care, a health-tech startup is building patient engagement platforms for medical providers, focusing on aspects of compliance, monitoring and communication. It also provides voice-based virtual assistant for healthcare providers. Gaurav Gupta, co-founder, Navia Life Care, says, “Voice AI is currently being used to create digital health records for patients. On our Navi EMR platform, doctors are able to dictate patient medical records to their phones, tablets or computers where our system is able to capture medically relevant terminology, contextualise into appropriate components such as diagnosis, symptoms, medications, investigations, etc., and create a digital record. Further, our system learns from the doctor’s behaviour and starts suggesting commonly spoken/written data points, for the doctor to simply select from.’’

Vikram Thaploo, CEO, Telehealth Apollo Hospitals, says AI has been shown to be very effective in predicting and diagnosing diseases. It also helps reduce the rate of misdiagnosis and medical errors, which are responsible for more than 5 million deaths in the country annually. Voice-based AI apps can be used to schedule same day video consults with healthcare professionals and coordinate the delivery of prescription medication to patients who are financially and geographically compromised. “AI algorithms can also be trained to read medical records and recommend treatment options that are specific to the patient’s needs along with information on its availability. We should build a platform that leverages the power of AI to check if the patient profile meets the criteria for a clinical trial. Telemedical apps can be trained on large databases of medical conditions and symptoms to suggest what ailment a patient has based on the information they supply the bot,” he adds.

AI has already proved to be a lifesaver in case of high-risk pregnancies. “Deployment of robotic process automation (RPA) solutions combined with AI and ML algorithms, helps doctors identify the patient’s risk factors in minimal time and assign the case to the relevant specialist; thereby, reducing the cycle-time by 95%. This makes it easier to ensure timely pregnancy risk evaluation and treatment,” says Manish Bharti, president, UiPath, India and SAARC.

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