With the rise of artificial intelligence, it should come as no surprise that it has entered our health care system on mass. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Greybox Solutions Inc. recently developed a “virtual assistant” – an artificial intelligence (AI) health monitoring solution for Greybox’s existing TakeCare secure health monitoring program – to help patients, healthcare providers, and caregivers remotely manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure that traditionally require the patient to spend a considerable amount of time in a health care institution.
“We are proud to participate in this collaboration to provide an accessible digital health monitoring tool for improving the health of Canadians, especially those in remote regions or with reduced mobility,” says Dr. Roman Szumski, vice-president of Life Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada. “The National Research Council’s dedicated and recognized medical devices experts are creating virtual assistant applications that empower patients while creating regular and essential data transfer to their health professionals for more efficient health monitoring.”
With the help of this virtual assistant, patients can educate themselves and manage their own progress from home, while supporting health care professionals in triage procedures. The virtual assistant can guide patients through tasks to collect medical data like health parameters and lifestyle habits and provide adaptive information based on the patient’s emotional and physical state.
In addition to helping patients maintain a healthier lifestyle, the virtual assistant provides data and personalized recommendations to healthcare professionals, which translates to more quality time with doctors during visits instead of time spent filling in forms.
For patients with diseases that require specific and rigorous monitoring, such as diabetes and heart conditions, the virtual assistant is programmed to ask personalized questions targeted to the patient’s condition. Data from these interactions is gathered, analysed, organized, and displayed to healthcare professionals in a user-friendly manner, providing them with pertinent patient information on a regular basis.
“We are pleased to be able to count on the National Research Council’s expertise to expand our offer to other healthcare areas,” says Pierre Bérubé, founder and CEO, Greybox Solutions Inc. “Their expertise in the artificial intelligence field and biomedical software engineering, as well as their access to clinicians to guide the development of a product, is a distinct advantage when it comes to developing a product that meets a specific need.”
Greybox, and its clinical partners located across Canada plan to launch diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure virtual assistant programs in several hospitals for a commercial deployment late in 2018.