Healthcare Using AI, Machine Learning & Natural Language Processing (NLP)
The British company have a very ambitious mission statement to provide accessible and affordable healthcare in the hands of every person on earth. Known as Babylon Health they are working on the use of AI, machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to offer a complete healthcare solution to everyone. They have currently rolled out services in the UK and Rwanda via the Babylon mobile phone app which you can download onto your smart phone.
Along with Machine Learning (allowing Babylon Health to learn over time and improve), the use of NLP (in essence communicating with humans in a natural way rather than in a robotic manner) is a potential key to success for Babylon, it could help this healthcare machine interact and communicate with us much more naturally, in time making it feel like we are actually speaking with a human. In time, the machine will likely sound as close to human as possible in a way that Google Duplex is being developed.
The company is headed by Founder and CEO, Dr Ali Parsa. See a short video of his vision for Babylon Health –
Babylon Health – The Concept and How it Works
In the use of cutting edge AI and machine learning, Babylon Health, are utilising the advanced technology that AI can provide. Babylon is developed around the brain of a doctor where it has a database they call their Knowledge Graph. This database captures all the latest human knowledge around all aspects of health such as terminology, symptoms, known cures etc. Babylon also combines this with an individual users graph which will also be a database, where it would hold all the details of a persons medical history.
The AI and machine learning technology then looks to work with these two databases to provide a healthcare recommendation specific to each individual for any symptoms. Babylon Health will also know when any potential symptoms need to be referred to a human medical specialist or doctor for further examination and opinion.
The company are also looking to work with Alexa to allow you to access the Babylon Health app. See the concept in action in the Bablyon Alexa demo video here –
Babylon Health – UK with NHS and GP at Hand
In conjunction with an agreement with the NHS Babylon Health have released a service called GP at Hand. Allowing UK residents that are registered with a local GP to transfer their service to Babylon Health’s NHS GP at Hand service.
Users once registered will then be able to access NHS doctors and healthcare professionals via the Babylon app via video and messaging anytime 24/7, 365 days a year. In the event that the assessment is that you need to make a face to face personal visit then you will be asked to attend one of the GP at Hand doctors surgeries. Currently these are based in London within London Underground zones 1 to 3. You can transfer to GP at Hand from anywhere in the UK that you live but the current proviso is that you must be working within these central London zones. This is in case you need to make an urgent visit to see a doctor in person.
The NHS and Babylon Health are working on rolling this out across the rest of the UK in the coming months and years.
Babylon Health – Zambia
Babylon in agreement with the Zambian government have rolled out the Babylon Health service across Zambia where almost 2 millions Zambians have registered and downloaded the app. This is key for a country where healthcare availability otherwise has been minimal.
Healthcare – The Future with the Use of Technology
The use of cutting edge technology in the health industry is moving ahead quickly and Babylon Health is a great example of the speed of progress. In fact there is a great research paper on the Babylon website discussing their future healthcare predictions and trends for 2018.
What other areas can expect technology to lead the way in healthcare?
- The use of similar AI, machine learning and NLP is likely to increase as the computer is able to have a deeper and greater database to refer to in seconds to predict and diagnose an illness.
- The use of mobile smart phones and smart watches could be utilized to further and deeper to not only asses your heart rate but also to measure your blood pressure as well as other vital signs. Apple already has their Health App in every iPhone and iWatch ready to go.
- The use of robots for surgery has already begun and whilst the surgeon is currently involved with the robot under complete control of the qualified surgeon. The use of AI and machine learning will most likely start to take on a greater importance.
- Remote access to healthcare will likely increase in the same manner Babylon Health are developing. Access to not only the GP but also A&E and even specialists are likely to be made easier with the use of smart technology.
Will the use of technology make us healthier and will greater access to our healthcare professionals make everything easier in the long-term or is this taking away the human element?