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Up to 15% of NHS 111 callers to benefit from AI triage apps

Up to 15% of NHS 111 callers to benefit from AI triage apps

Up to 15% of NHS 111 callers could benefit from using artificial intelligence apps instead, according to early findings from the NHS 111 online pilots
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Up to 15% of NHS 111 callers could benefit from using artificial intelligence apps instead, according to early findings from the NHS 111 online pilots.

Speaking at a Healthcare Leader Forum event in Reading today, Juliet Bauer, chief digital officer for NHS England said the pilots had given ‘really encouraging feedback’, with early indications suggesting between 5% and 15% of NHS 111 callers able to use an online interaction.

She said: ‘We know that actually there is potential here for demand shift in moving people into the right care settings.’

She added: ‘These digital tools can triage as well as the phone systems can to the right settings of care with a good patients experience.’

Ms Bauer said that NHS England expects to have 50% of the country able to access an online NHS 111 service by the end of the year, ‘if not more’.

NHS England launched four pilots testing an online version of NHS 111 using a mix of web and mobile applications earlier this year in Suffolk, Leeds, London, and the West Midlands.

Ms Bauer said the four pilot applications are ‘all viable’.

She said: ‘We've really been testing out here the theory that we don't have to build everything centrally ourselves.

‘So we've built one ourselves, with the NHS Pathways team with NHS Digital to make sure that we get the learning of how to do it and what works.

‘We've also partnered with three other companies to test out a kind of form of triage so symptom checking triage to make sure you're going to the right service and those connect through into the actual services.

‘So if you need to get to hospital the information that you put in will then carry through.’

The online NHS 111 service in Leeds is powered by NHS Pathways.

Computer software company Expert24 operates the pilot in Suffolk, while American software company Sense.ly operates the West Midlands pilot.

The Telegraph revealed earlier this year that digital health service provider Babylon would be operating the London-based pilot.

Ms Bauer said the pilot is expanding ‘as fast as we think is sensible to make sure we learn as we expand it out and check that everything's working as we expect it’.

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