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Orbital Media to create virtual GPs

Ties up with University of Essex and aims to save NHS £2bn a year


Digital agency Orbital Media has teamed up with the University of Essex to create automated ‘virtual GPs’ that will offer patients health advice online.

The project aims to use artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to provide medically-approved health advice.

Orbital Media’s CEO Peter Brady said: “GPs are currently under immense pressure, with significant amounts of money devoted to dealing with minor ailments.

“AI has a key role to play in supporting future healthcare needs and this is just the beginning of our exploration into its potential applicants within healthcare pathways.”

The programme will use photo realistic avatars and will advise on self-treatable conditions such as colds, coughs, flu and hay fever due to the growing demand for online ‘symptom searches’.

The project - which aims to be ready in the next couple of years - will be part-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Innovate UK.

It will take place through Essex University’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) initiative, which helps businesses innovate by connecting them to the UK’s academic resources.

As it progresses the project will be managed by a computer scientist who will be based at Orbital Media and will work closely with the academic team.

Dr Luca Citi, from the School Of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex, said: “Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology have the potential to transform so many aspects of our everyday lives.

“We are excited about this opportunity to work with Orbital Media to see how we can share our expertise to have a significant impact on how health services might be delivered in the future.”

Article by
Gemma Jones

6th April 2017

From: Marketing



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