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AI voice assistant plans to cut A&E visits by 50%

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This ‘Siri for care’ is expected to reduce A&E visits by over 50%, regularly tracking patients’ symptoms via a series of questions, to monitor for health deterioration. Cera is trialling the groundbreaking AI – a first for the UK care sector…

Europe’s largest provider of digital-first home healthcare, Cera, is trialling a groundbreaking voice assistant nationwide, which plans to cut A&E visits in half. 

This ‘Siri for care’, a first in the UK care sector, is powered by automated phone calls to patients through an empathetic, human-like virtual assistant. 

These calls will ask a series of medically-validated questions to monitor an individual’s health, offering a more scalable approach to the delivery of care. 

Answers are then analysed using machine learning to identify significant changes, monitor and prevent health deteriorations, and send alerts to carers to arrange for a doctor’s visit where necessary – preventing an emergency room visit.

Before Christmas rollout 

This pilot will be rolled out before Christmas through a strategic partnership, at four key regions across England and Scotland. It will initially focus on identifying symptoms of flu and COVID-19 – with more than ten times the number of flu patients already in NHS beds across England, compared to last year – and the monitoring of health deterioration in chronic patients.

AI expected to cut A&E visits in half 

It is set to significantly improve each patient’s wellbeing and health outcomes – expected to not only reduce hospitalisation rates further, but also readmissions to hospitals and emergency department visits by 55% based on trials in other European countries. 

Cera’s existing award-winning technology has already been proven to reduce hospitalisation rates by an unprecedented 52% using machine learning and data analytics, and anticipates up to 80% of hospitalisations seven days in advance. 

The introduction of this virtual care assistant will help the pioneering healthcare company to achieve its mission of empowering more people to live longer, healthier lives at home.

It is expected to drive efficiencies across the delivery of care, with the potential to reduce the amount of in-person visits required – for example, visits to remind patients to take medication – allowing carers to spend more time on complex, urgent visits.

Innovative next step

Dr Ben Maruthappu MBE, CEO and Co-founder of Cera, comments: “This voice assistant is the innovative next step in our journey to becoming the leader in digital-first healthcare-at-home, as we look to support the NHS in managing unprecedented pressures.

“An automated phone call could save a call to emergency services – critical when staff burnout and waiting lists are at an all-time high – by monitoring health deteriorations through smart machine learning.

“As it’s powered by artificial intelligence, this programme offers a rapidly scalable approach to care, with the scope to be rolled out to millions of patients at low cost.

“We are excited to see how this trial goes and the impact that it has on our carers and patients. Watch this space!”

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