A ‘chatbot’ to monitor your health

When booking a train ticket, or contacting an after sales service, we have all already experienced ‘exchanging’ with conversational robots, the so-called ‘chatbots*’, which are increasing present on Facebook as well as on on-line sales outlets. Olivier Thuillart, who graduated from UTC in 2008, majoring in Bio-engineering, thought that chatbots could prove to be very useful in the health care domain… provided we have a perfect mastery of the safety constraints that apply to health-related data.

A ‘chatbot’ to monitor your health

“What we observe today is a need to optimize time absorbed in medical activities: there are less and less anesthetists, less doctors and more and more patients at home with a complicated care protocol and extensive medical equipment” notes Olivier.

 

“Now we may ask: what if conversational robots could assist both patients and practitioners? It was on the basis of this thought that I cofounded Botdesign in 2017, with my associate”. The strong point of these two associates relies on their excellent knowledge of health questions, which has enabled them to propose tools for the professionals and practitioners, compliant with current French legislation. The potential for conversational robots, in data analysis, in clinical studies, in patient monitoring … is very wide and rich. “We know, for example, that certain patents stop their treatment as soon as they get home. A chatbot can remind a patient of this and check if the medicinal drugs are being taken correctly, or even inform other family members or the family doctor, if something serious is detected, provided the patents themselves are equipped with appropriate ‘connected’ devices”, adds Olivier.

 

The first conversational robot – for the Naturactive** line of products produced by the Pierre Fabre Laboratories, has been on line since February 2018. “We also work with French hospitals, assembling and programming a chatbot for pre-anesthesia obstetrics. The robot will ask all the standard questions (first child? weight …) and will transmit the answers to the anesthetist who will consequently be able to focus on particular medical and human points with the patent in the pre-op rendezvous. We are also working a lot with patient associations, for example with the French Association for Diabetics, to come up with a chatbot that can help diabetes patients to look after themselves better and also to answer their questions”.

 

After the field commissioning of these early chatbot models, the associates intend in the near future to do some fund-raising to consolidate the technological developments and to improve the real-time message system INFINITY, which allows medical workers to communicate live, real time and in total confidentiality. “We are also working man-machine Intercations,“ adds Olivier, “on voice integration, on 3D avatars that will allow operators to enjoy a more gaming exchange with the robots, notably when children are involved. We also plan to develop French and Spanish language chatbot versions, for the European market and beyond the EU, the global markets”. n

 

** https://www.facebook.com/Naturactive/