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AI-powered symptom checkers can assist healthcare techniques take care of the COVID-19 burden

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AI-powered symptom checkers can doubtlessly cut back the variety of individuals going to in-person clinics throughout the pandemic, however first, researchers say, individuals have to know they exist.

COVID symptom checkers are digital self-assessment instruments that use AI to assist customers determine their degree of COVID-19 threat and assess whether or not they should search pressing care primarily based on their reported signs. These instruments additionally goal to offer reassurance to people who find themselves experiencing signs that aren’t COVID-19 associated.

Most platforms, like Babylon and Isabel, are public-facing instruments, however the College of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has one of many first COVID-19 symptom checkers that’s totally built-in with the customers’ medical data, permitting for instant appointment scheduling.

A mixed-methods research on the College of Waterloo discovered that 18- to 34-year-old younger adults, sometimes the primary age group to undertake new applied sciences, had been unaware of the existence of those platforms.

“Younger adults are often keen adopters of know-how, so we had been somewhat stunned by this discovering,” stated lead researcher Stephanie Aboueid, a Ph.D. candidate within the College of Public Well being and Well being Methods. “Symptom checkers have the potential to cut back the burden on health-care techniques and the danger of person-to-person an infection, so we wished to learn the way to enhance these platforms so extra individuals use them.”

Of the 22 college college students interviewed in winter and spring of 2020, 9 of them didn’t know the instruments exist. The researchers additionally performed a survey on normal symptom checkers in winter 2021, and information instructed 88 per cent (1,365 out of 1,545) of members didn’t use one prior to now yr.

Findings from the smaller qualitative research recommend that three-quarters of those that had used government-issued symptom checkers had been happy with them. Those that used non-government symptom checkers discovered the expertise suboptimal, citing an absence of belief and credibility.

“One of many findings was that customers wished extra personalization and had been much less trusting of instruments that gave the identical outcomes to everybody,” Aboueid stated. “The UCSF system was in a position to cut back the variety of visits whereas bearing in mind underlying situations together with the symptom checks and reserving follow-up appointments when wanted.”

In addition to extra personalization, the researchers discovered that different enhancements to current symptom checkers embody offering customers extra details about the creators of the platform, offering extra clarification of the signs in lay language, extra language choices and the choice to get examined at a close-by location.

The research, “Use of symptom checkers for COVID-19-related signs amongst college college students: a qualitative research,” co-authored by the School of Well being’s Aboueid, Ashok Chaurasia, James Wallace, Shreya Mahajan, Samantha Meyer and Teeyaa Nur, was lately printed within the journal BMJ Improvements.

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Extra data:
Use of symptom checkers for COVID-19-related signs amongst college college students: a qualitative research, BMJ Improvements, 2021.

Supplied by
College of Waterloo

AI-powered symptom checkers can assist healthcare techniques take care of the COVID-19 burden (2021, April 7)
retrieved 7 April 2021

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