The NHS in the UK is trialing a health service online as an alternative to its non-emergency helpline via what is known as a chatbot for consultations. Babylon are the company that have created a virtual app. The app will free up the NHS for issues which are not an emergency in the test area of London covering more than 1.2 million residents.
The NHS does have a non-emergency telephone helpline which is different to the app since it is staffed by people. Each call has a cost of approximately 15 pounds and takes 10 minutes to complete with the end result being calls were frequently abandoned.
The app on the other hand is not maned by people but by a “chatbot” that can give answers quickly on basic issues by the patient answering 12 back-and-fourth exchanges.
UK Babylon: Consultation service
The company behind this Babylon, also currently offers a subscription service for 25 pounds for a one-off consultation or a 5 pound monthly subscription. Babylon currently have 21,500 people who use the service.
The major benefit of the subscription service is the time saved by having an online consultation, via voice or video. In theory it can be done during the persons lunch break or while traveling.
Spanish Chatbot by Sanitas “Blau”
In Spain there is an equivalent to the above service that Babylon offer. Sanitas for example are giving the service for free to their clients for 1 year. They also have a subscription service for non-clients for 10 euros per month or 20 euros per month for 2 or more people.
Sanitas are calling the service Blua. An added service is the delivery of your diagnostic test results to your home and delivery of pharmacy medication to your home.
The online consultations are for the following: Allergy’s, digestive, dermatology, endocrinology, gynecology, hematology, general medicine, internal medicine, oncology, pediatrics, rheumatology and urology.