Clinova has launched Healthwords, a new generative AI health platform, with the world’s first conversational AI tools that are solely focused on delivering healthcare advice.
The tool aims to transform the self-care industry and in doing so free up GP appointments. It uses a template that is similar to ChatGPT, but makes the search specific to solely the healthcare sector.
Healthwords is powered by state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms that have been trained on verified medical content. It includes 200,000 medical words and draws from a medical lexicon of more than 97,000 medical terms.
The platform allows users to input their questions or symptoms into a conversational search function. Generative AI technology then provides medically verified answers or advice, and recommends self-care products if directed to do so.
Sir Simon Burns, government liaison officer for Clinova and former MP and former minister in the Department of Health said: “We are very excited by the launch of Healthwords. As we have seen more generally, AI-powered conversational search tools have the power to transform people’s lives, and this is especially true in healthcare. Our self-care advice product has the advantage of being free, easy-to-use and anonymous. We think it will be particularly attractive to individuals, who do not have the time to visit a medical professional for less serious conditions.”
The new service is available from the Healthwords app. There is also the option to read more about conditions with full-length verified medical articles, or to chat online with a human pharmacist if they require a second opinion.
AI solutions for NHS challenges
By empowering patients to access self-care advice, it could help release millions of unnecessary NHS appointments, so that they can go to patients who need them the most. The NHS is increasingly looking to AI to help free up capacity and tackle long waiting lists. This summer Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay announced a new £21 million fund to allow NHS trusts to bid for funding to accelerate deployment of AI tools.
Dr Tom Maggs, chief medical officer for Healthwords, said: “The launch of Healthwords could be a real breakthrough because there is a strong movement for consumer empowerment, especially in healthcare. Most consumers are savvy with the internet and are willing and able to search for answers that are relevant and tailored to their individual circumstances. Many of them prefer this type of interaction – anonymous, on their terms, at their convenience.”
The Healthwords’ team is now working to expand the platform’s capabilities and reach and has plans to develop Healthwords’ conversational AI to incorporate multimodal and multilingual interfaces in future. This would allow for the integration of video and image content.
In addition, following the UK government’s recent announcements that patients will be able to receive certain prescriptions without a GP appointment, Healthwords is soon to have the capability to provide medication for common conditions like sore throats and ear aches.