A new GP pilot application is set to play a key role in the future of surgeries, but its founder states that it will never entirely replace human doctors.
Ada enables patients to create a profile, with the software utilising an artificial intelligence engine in order to make a diagnosis.
Personalised reports are provided by Ada, along with the suggested steps.
Patients are able to have a supplementary video consultation with a human GP once the process has been completed.
Ada founder Dr Claire Novorol believes that the app could even save as much as 50% of the average workload of a GP.
And research has already indicated that there is a 90% agreement in diagnosis between GPs and Ada.
With the technology having already been trialled in central London, Novorol looks forward to the “first step of what will be a collaborative and long approach with the NHS”.
The practice is utilising a specialised version of the software for pre-assessment and online consultation.
While there is no particular controversy over this approach, the surgery in question has asked to remain anonymous until the trial has been successfully completed.
A GP from the pilot scheme outlined the benefits of Ada in the clinical environment.
“Having essentially a fully fleshed-out pre-assessment tool is really useful. It saves time in a consultation and there can also be an element of triage there. We’ve had a few patients use it with very simple hay fever symptoms. Ada has suggested this and then they’ve not come in. The patient gets value, but we also get value – patients have gone away and sought more appropriate care or not called us at all. We’re seeing that already.”
The doctor went on to explain how positive he is about the future of such applications, predicting that they will inevitably play a major role in the healthcare system.
“The information gathering has saved some time. We’ve had multiple cases where Ada has asked more questions than we can in a 10-minute appointment. It can go through asking about a lot more history and gather more information than we could have. Without a doubt it’s going to be the future. We are moving towards a digital-first approach – it assists both ends of the GP-patient relationship.”
Finally, the GP called on his colleagues to embrace what he believes to be a particularly valuable form of technology.
“The difficult job of diagnosis and unmet patient health needs are a critically high part of our work and that will be assisted by this. It won’t ever replace the GP face-to-face consultation, but it will shift how a GP works. I would hope a lot aren’t protective about that. With the increasing rate of patient consultations we need help. I would rather they have somewhat intelligent help than an unstructured Google approach – it’s definitely a way forward.”