Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 at 11:41 am by Andre Camilleri
Maltese AI company EBO.ai has partnered with UK health informatics firm Servelec as Exclusive AI Partners for patient self-management and is now bringing innovative self-managed services to thousands of patients within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Through this collaboration, Servelec will integrate EBO.ai’s technology (now called the ‘Rio Virtual Assistant’) into its electronic patient record system to give NHS patients accessibility to set hospital appointments, reschedule or cancel them in real time, using their favourite messaging channel, instantly and 24/7.
The breakthrough technology was initially introduced to the East London NHS Foundation Trust and the Somerset NHS Foundation Trust which operate community hospitals and inpatient sites and engage almost 20,000 professionals and staff.
“The Rio Virtual Assistant fits perfectly into the NHS’s five-year plan to place data, information, and technology at the heart of its strategy to make the UK a global leader in the development and use of self-care solutions. Our partnership with UK’s Servelec is also particularly meaningful because it shows a major international player teaming up with a local company to serve the NHS in the UK better. Effectively this is an AI solution contributing to the transformation of UK healthcare,” says Dr. Gege Gatt, CEO of EBO.ai.
EBO.ai is a pioneer in creating platforms that automate the engagement between healthcare professionals and patients to solve the challenge of communication at scale. Servelec uses software to deliver better integrated care by providing solutions for interoperability across health, social care, education and youth services, connecting providers with citizens by enabling better communication between care providers.
“This development is also a meaningful step in EBO.ai’s journey to become an international company. Healthcare around the world is going through radical transformation as institutions move towards smart hospitals. This new breed of hospitals are built from the ground up on technologies that augment the patient experience while improving cost-efficiency and performance for health systems. We are proud that together with Servelec, we have been given the privilege to play an active role in defining the healthcare of tomorrow.”
“Our Virtual Assistant also allows caregivers to receive important patient insights so much so that we predict that our system can potentially reduce hospitals’ administrative costs by up to 80% in the patient administration function” added Dr. Gege Gatt.
Hospital administration costs are increasing at an exorbitantly high rate.
A 2018 article in the New York Times reports that in the US, just over 25% of total spending on hospital care goes to hospital administrative costs. Hospitals in the Netherlands registered the second-highest administrative costs at almost 20% of all hospital spending. In the UK, hospital administrative costs according to a 2014 survey already stood at 15.5% of what is now a £140 billion budget.
EBO.ai’s Rio Virtual Assistant not only provides a quality customer experience for patients, but also helps hospitals save time and money often spent on inefficient scheduling tasks. By allowing patients speedy and out of hours access to appointment re-scheduling, the solution reduces avoidable missed appointments thus addressing a major challenge in healthcare.
Missed appointments in England cost the NHS, £216 million every year. A quantitiative researche exercise compiled by YouGov.co.uk in 2019 demonstrated that 85% of patients who missed a hospital visit would have been motivated to attend if an automated reminder prompted them to do so. Using Artificial Intelligence to actually hold a dialogue with the patient would have made the experience more personal and effective.
“It’s a win-win situation. NHS staff get to access updated patient records wherever they are, patients enjoy an easy way to administer their hospital activity, hospitals have less administration work to cater for and Governments avoid budget seepage through ineffective practices” concluded Gege Gatt.