Trends

Virtual Nurse and AI

Artificial Intelligence is turning out to be the driving force to change the way we do everything, it is now leading large movement towards Virtual Nursing.
With a nationwide shortage of nursing staff and a growing need for instant gratification, people prefer to get immediate medical advice and assistance even from far away places through phone, email, chat, or video conference.
According to an analysis, health care applications integrated with AI could save the US healthcare economy as much $150 billion by 2026, out of which virtual nursing assistants could save up to $20 billion.

Healthcare industry leaders now have the chance to upgrade care quality and commitment more value to the patients by working with developers to create solutions using AI that could be established into the care delivery process.

To maintain good health, all of us have to go to care settings for routine check-ups and amid busy schedules, some of us may forgot to do so. In a busy world, people may prefer a nurse visiting home directly for check-ups. Medical assistant apps may come handy in such situations. AI based apps replicate the behavior of nurses and provide nursing care to patients and also get them connected with care providers.

Replicate behavior of a nurse? how?

● Assist with answering questions related to medical, daily health and wellness.
● Reminders for medication administration and appointments/ follow ups.
● Symptom checkers which help diagnose medical problems by inquiring symptoms. i.e. search symptoms using medical dictionary and arrive at possible diagnosis.
● Provide Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructions to users.
● Keep expecting mothers well aware of what to expect at every stage of pregnancy.
● Educate patients of the side effects caused by an active drug and help them with advice to cope up.
● Assist patients with the help of audio and visual aids to perform basic nursing activities like changing bandages.
● Book a General Practitioner’s appointment.
● Improve treatment adherence rates, by being available 24*7.
● Lifestyle/ behavior corrections to promote healthier living.
● Data collection for analysis: Humans just cannot make as many calls, record as much information or conduct analysis as the apps can.

Dealing with chronic conditions like heart failure, diabetes, cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can be a continuous agenda in one’s life. The virtual avatar may help to prevent hospital re-admission/ re-visits, and monitor patient’s health and help to get clinical advice through interactions with doctors. Virtual nursing apps could be a boon in helping chronically ill patients, among others, who spend their lifetime in and around healthcare facilities

Technically speaking, an AI based virtual nurse application is developed to work with various age groups. It is a rule based engine with algorithms based on commonly accepted medical protocols for dealing and diagnosing specific chronic diseases. The content and protocols for the app can be provided by clinics and partner hospitals. The patient’s modulation and mood are used to enable the app to respond. Such apps are developed to capture signals about a person’s health and serve as an anonymous database on symptoms.

These apps should also be able to integrate AI platforms like

∙ An emotions analytics tools
∙ An emotion recognition tools
∙ Conversational AI for voice and chat assistants

In the case of behavioral health, a virtual avatar of a nurse can be programmed to conduct detailed counselling.  The app can ask the patient to talk about their health through a smartphone.The patient can avoid typing and just talk to the virtual nurse after which the conversation can be transcripted and rolled into the medical record to be reviewed by authorized health providers. The nurse avatars will speak to patients naturally and empathetically which could also help people who have chronic diseases or ailing elderly.

Emotional analysis can be conducted from the tone of the patient which can allow the app to alert providers while  detecting unusual emotional states, such as anxiety or depression which could also have caused by prescribed medications.

Virtual Nurse App Development – Worth the Effort?

Oh yes! 60% of adults now live with at least one chronic condition. Other than the benefits cited above, an AI based virtual agent also boosts engagement. Patients eagerly interact with an avatar since they feel more comfortable to share information with a program than with their regular provider.
The AI powered nurse avatars provide a new set of tools for health care delivery. They allow providers take a break from routine check-ups for patients with chronic conditions.
Research performed by an AI Virtual Avatar app showed that, patients like AI nurses and tend to trust machines more than humans. One such app led to lowering the rate of re-admission 5 percent than the control group.

Many questions that patients often ask their nurses or physicians are exactly the same questions that recent machines have been programmed to answer very well. This means that the technology can assist care providers and nurses and save time while keeping them informed about patient well being and their needs.

References:

1. https://www.emrandehr.com/tag/virtual-nursing-assistants/

2. https://www.philips.com/a-w/about/news/archive/blogs/innovation-matters/the-virtual-nurse-is-here.html

3. http://nursinglink.monster.com/education/articles/3032-virtual-nursing-nursing-field-of-the-future

4. http://vator.tv/news/2015-06-24-sensely-and-mindmeld-team-for-ai-driven-virtual-nurse


Authored by:

Aji Nivethika M and Srividhya S

Engineer – Trainees @Incarnus

http://incarnus.com/

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About Incarnus

We are a global provider of next-generation, cloud-enabled solutions for all levels of healthcare from primary health practice to large-scale hospital networks.
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