Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has invested in a Delhi-based Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot "Visit" which is the brainchild of students from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani in Rajasthan.
Started in 2016 by Anurag Prasad, Vaibhav Singh, Shashvat Tripathi and Chetan Anand, "Visit" is an AI-powered chatbot for health advice learning from, and assisting, existing doctors.
"People interact with the 'Visit' chatbot by sharing some symptoms. The bot follows up with relevant questions to collect more symptoms and risk factors (is the person hypertensive, diabetic, a smoker). This triaging is conversational and low stress," Stone wrote in a blog post on Medium on Sunday.
"Visit" plans to democratise healthcare by shrinking the shortage of doctors using AI.
"In India, for every doctor there are 2,000 patients lined up in-clinics - waiting for hours.
"Accessibility to quality health advice is an overwhelming problem in a country with over 200 million people affected by lifestyle problems like stress, chronic conditions, obesity, skin conditions, and more. This is where the technology approach by aVisit' comes in," Stone informed.
"Visit" chats conclude with patients being more educated about possible conditions, symptoms, and treatments.
The chatbot is trained using over 20,000 probabilistic relationships between variables such as conditions, symptoms, risk factors, past history and more.
Once a probable medical condition is determined, "Visit" connects the patient to one of over 2,000 health specialists all across India via video, phone or chat so the right treatment can be put into place.
"But it doesn't end there. People can stay in touch with their practitioner over chat for follow-up. The objective is not to replace the doctor but to help practitioners in an assistive way by regular patient check-ins and reminders related to their care plan," Stone noted.
"Investing in Visit is my small way of contributing to a future where AI is seen as a positive enhancement of humanity that really does improve lives," he added.