Virtual medical and behavioral healthcare provider MDLive has made it easier for patients to access telehealth services with the introduction of Sophie, a digital personal health assistant. An artificial intelligence-based chatbot that is part of MDLive's platform, Sophie guides patients through the registration process by first asking a series of questions to open an MDLive account. Next, Sophie walks patients through the steps to download the MDLive app. Once downloaded, the MDLive app helps patients determine whether scheduling a virtual or in-person visit with a healthcare professional is necessary. Chatbot's are computer programs that simulate conversation with human users through digital devices such as Apple Inc.'s Siri and Amazon.com
London and Berlin-based, AI-powered health app maker Ada Health has raised $47 million (40 million euro) in a funding round led by global investment group Access Industries. June Fund, Cumberland VC, and entrepreneur William Tunstall-Pedoe also contributed along with existing investors. Ada Health officially launched its app back in April after a soft launch in late 2016 and six years of research and development. It's one of a handful of companies using artificial intelligence and natural language processing. It asks relevant, personalized questions and suggests possible causes for users' symptoms.
The UK's National Health Service will soon begin a trial testing whether or not a chatbot can effectively replace a call center for non-emergency medical triage, according to a report from the Financial Times. Babylon, a UK-based telemedicine startup, will power the six-month trial in north-central London, which will include 1.2 million covered citizens. Babylon is a major telemedicine provider in its native England. The company's direct-to-consumer offering starts with an AI-powered chatbot which can escalate up to a video visit if necessary. Triage via Babylon requires about 12 text messages and takes about a minute and a half.