Britain's national health and medical service will utilize smart speaker technology to identify patients at risk of self-harm or suicide, according to a report published today (February 11).
Mission of the NHS, Eric Topol's report pointed to the inevitable implementation of digital technology in health care, such as AI medical scanners and even forms of therapy held in virtual reality – and signaled the use of voice assistants to increase the amount of patient support that is available.
The report also clarified that London's hospices already laid the foundation for AI-based patient support.
Increasing calls to mental health care have been one of the major challenges the NHS has faced in recent years, and it is no surprise that technology is helping with that.
Smart assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are now extensively implemented in millions of homes and businesses, and regular citizens are increasingly prepared to use voice-guided AI for a number of daily tasks.
I hear you
Years after the advent of the health service "chatbots", designed to help users through common health problems, smart assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant find a wide range of health-related uses in the NHS and elsewhere.
The technology is likely to prove a double-edged sword; While using robot assistants to listen to people's problems can be time-effective, it is easy to feel an emotional connection when you are not talking to a real living doctor.
When looking for new technology to improve our mental health, we need to make sure that it no longer isolates us from each other ̵