The UK National Health Service (NHS) has today announced that they are testing out a medical chatbot as an alternative to their non-emergency helpline.

The service will be an app by a UK startup called Babylon.

The app sill work by asking people questions about their illness in a chat window and then providing them with advice after it has checked those questions.

It will let them know if the problem is one that they should go to a doctor to solve or if the problem will just pass in time.

The Financial Times revealed the news, revealing that the app will be used from the end of January over the course of six months, providing more than 1.2 million residents across areas of London with advice.

Currently, the NHS does similar with their 111 helpline, however, each call to this help line costs the NHS up to $20 and can take 10 minutes to complete, the app is an idea to reduce the cost and reduce the amount of calls that are abandoned.

Babylon is currently offering video consultations in Essex where they claim that at one surgery that is already using the app they have reduced location visits to both A&E and walk-in centers by 20%.

Source: The Financial Times

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