Leading UK-healthcare business Clinova has launched Healthwords, one of the world’s first conversational AI tools solely focused on providing healthcare advice and self-care products in the UK.
The market-leading tool is set to transform the self-care industry by using a template that’s similar to ChatGPT but makes the search specific to a single sector. It is powered by state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms that have been trained on verified medical content from a team of over 50 doctors and pharmacists including 200,000 medical words and draws from a medical lexicon of more than 97,000 medical terms.
Healthwords is an end-to-end solution for self-care, providing users with 24/7 access to fast personalised healthcare advice based on their individual needs. When users input their question or symptom into the conversational search function the generative AI technology will provide medically verified answers or advice, and then recommend self-care products if directed to do so. Users will also have the option to read more about their condition in full-length verified medical articles or chat online with a human pharmacist in real-time should they want a second opinion. The user can then choose to purchase self-care products and arrange for them to be delivered to their homes all through the single platform.
Healthwords is especially relevant for those who want non-urgent healthcare advice but don’t have the time or ability to visit the pharmacist during standard working hours. While it is not designed as a replacement for visiting a medical professional, it educates users in self-care, removing the stigma or apathy associated with seeking in-person advice about certain personal symptoms.
NHS England has previously reported there are 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million visits to A&E every year for conditions that could be dealt with at home, costing £850 million. By empowering patients across the UK with verified information that would allow them to manage self-treatable conditions instead of going to a GP, millions of unnecessary NHS appointments could be released. Through the Healthwords platform, Clinova aims to effect this change and improve efficiency in the British healthcare system by relieving pressure on heavily burdened GPs and freeing up appointments for those who need them most.
Healthwords is soon to have the capability to provide prescription medication for common conditions, such as earache and sore throat, following the UK’s Government’s recent announcement for patients to receive such prescriptions without a GP appointment. This facility will further support users to manage their own health, improving and modernising access to care.
Sir Simon Burns, Government Liaison Officer for Clinova and former MP and Former Minister in the Department of Health said: “We are very excited by the launch of Healthwords. As we have seen more generally, AI-powered conversational search tools have the power to transform people’s lives, and this is especially true in healthcare. Our self-care advice product has the advantage of being free, easy-to-use and anonymous. We think it will be particularly attractive to individuals, who do not have the time to visit a medical professional for less serious conditions.”
The advice offered on the Healthwords platform has been approved by Healthowrds Healthcare Council, which comprises a team of highly regarded medical professionals.
Dr Tom Maggs, Chief Medical Officer for Healthwords, said: “The launch of Healthwords could be a real breakthrough because there is a strong movement for consumer empowerment, especially in healthcare. Most consumers are savvy with the internet and are willing and able to search for answers that are relevant and tailored to their individual circumstances. Many of them prefer this type of interaction – anonymous, on their terms, at their convenience.”
Dr Roger Henderson, a GP for over 30 years and media columnist, said: “User demand for quality online health information has never been greater and Healthwords is at the forefront in providing this. By utilising the latest AI technology as part of its structure, it provides a genuine breakthrough in facilitating both high quality health conversations and information to users of the site.”
The Healthwords team is working hard to expand the platform's capabilities and reach and has plans to develop Healthwords’ conversational AI to incorporate multimodal and multilingual interfaces in future, which will allow for the integration of video and image content.
The service is accessed through the Healthwords app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.