Moscow chatbot checks patient symptoms

  • May 3, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

IT specialists at Moscow’s unified healthcare digital platform have launched a chatbot based on artificial intelligence so patients can report symptoms even before a doctor’s appointment.

This lets general practitioners work with patients faster, using a preliminary list of questions to clarify the diagnosis.

The doctor should now spend less time entering symptoms and background data in the system and more time examining the patient, prescribing additional tests and treatment. Importantly, the physician will be able to correct any data previously recorded if the patient provides new information during their consultation.

No additional software downloads are required to use the chatbot: patients need only follow the SMS link sent automatically after they make an appointment. The day before seeing the doctor, patients receive a special questionnaire with follow-up questions and fields in which they can describe their symptoms.

Since the service was launched in February, almost 200,000 links to the chatbot’s complaint questionnaire have been set to Muscovites.

Another advantage of this service is its integration with the city’s EMIAS medical information and analytics system. All data collected by the chatbot are recorded in an examination report and forwarded to the physician for review before the appointment. As the physician only needs to clarify the information received or amend the data in the report where necessary, this reduces the overall time spent examining the patient and gives the doctor more time to diagnose the patient’s condition and prescribe treatment.

The chatbot was developed using anonymised data from electronic medical records, reference books and databases. Alongside the IT specialists, practicing physicians also took part in preparing the algorithms for the new service, resulting in a comprehensive list of qualifying questions.

This is not the first project based on the unified digital platform of the Complex for Social Development of Moscow and IT Department. Dozens of services already in operation are simplifying access to all medical services and facilitating the work of numerous medical professionals.