AI could soon diagnose disease without office visit

Instead of Googling symptoms to when feeling an ailment and landing on an incorrect diagnosis, AI could soon provide accurate diagnosis without needing to go to a doctor’s office.

Already, the U.K. is working on that capability, the Daily Beast reported. An AI-powered healthcare system called Babylon has been integrated into the National Health Service and works to find patients with urgent needs and separate them from those with lesser illnesses.

Similar to Googling symptoms or using a symptom tracker like WebMD, Babylon asks about symptoms and then prods for other questions to determine if over-the-counter medications are needed or if it’s time to go see a doctor. The application is especially useful in rural or remote areas where access to a doctor is reduced.

“Babylon shows how AI can act as a middle ground between self-diagnosis and a visit to the doctor,” the article reads.

In addition, this method is cheaper and fast, without unnecessary appointments or tests. Like other AI in healthcare technology, Babylon cannot totally replace the human element of the healthcare system, but it can help more patients.

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