British software provider, Advanced, is working with researchers at The University of Manchester and AI specialist, Spectra Analytics, to develop an AI solution that will process clinical correspondence in primary care settings.
Together, they are creating AI tooling for a new version of its healthcare software, Docman10, called Docman10X, to automatically read patient letters and only show letters to GPs which AI thinks need further action.
GP practices receive hundreds of letters each day and these figures are likely to increase as clinical services that were delayed as a result of COVID-19 start to pick up again
A number of GPs have agreed to take part in the first set of testing, which began this month, and Advanced is now inviting other practices across the UK to join its early adopter programme and become a driving force in technology development which will transform primary care services at scale as pressure on GP practices intensifies due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Benjamin Brown, a GP partner in Salford and researcher at The University of Manchester, is leading the project and has been a user of Docman for over 10 years.
He believes AI can help primary care providers triage letters which currently place a huge burden on administrative staff.
He saids: “GP practices receive hundreds of letters each day and these figures are likely to increase as clinical services that were delayed as a result of COVID-19 start to pick up again.
“And, while GPs can’t reduce their workload; they can change the way they work.
“Around 80-90% of letters can be processed without involving GPs, and only showing letters to GPs that actually need their input could save time that could be better spent doing other things.
“AI may be a cost-effective way of doing this.
By automating the triage of letters, not only could we see a significant time saving for staff; but also potentially increase patient safety by speeding up how quickly GPs can action letters
“By automating the triage of letters, not only could we see a significant time saving for staff; but also potentially increase patient safety by speeding up how quickly GPs can action letters that actually need their input.”
“We have some incredibly-exciting plans to launch and further develop our Docman10X solution in 2021,” adds Ric Thompson, managing director of health and care, at Advanced.
“Docman10 is already handling documents for 40 million patients in the UK and actively managing around three million documents for GPs each week.
“Our early adopter programme is another step in working closely with primary care providers, helping them to meet the challenges they face when it comes to managing and delivering better patient care.
“Our technology is already proving to reduce the administrative burden, but there is more that can be done.
“We are developing an AI solution that, for the first time, will enable GPs to automate both repetitive and time-consuming tasks so they can instead spend more time on what they’ve spent years training to do – consulting with patients and providing the best-possible care.”
Docman10X will be launched to existing Docman customers at a virtual launch event in February where, alongside the developments in AI, a further roadmap of ground-breaking innovation to be delivered throughout 2021 will be announced.