Computers ‘could diagnose illness’


Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

People who are feeling unwell could be diagnosed at home by their computers under plans being considered by the Government.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said ministers hoped to introduce an online version of the NHS 111 care line within the next two years, as the Government looks for ways to ease pressure on hard-pressed accident and emergency units.

Speaking on LBC radio, he said the system could enable people to obtain access to a speedy assessment of their condition without the need to go through a lengthy question and answer session with call centre operators.

“If there is one thing that I think is really missing from 111 now, which I’d like to see happen, it is an online version of it so that you can actually go on to a website and not have to go through those questions with someone in a call centre but (that) actually answered online,” he said.

“I remember when one of my children had a rash. I think you would have been able to get a very good diagnosis very quickly if you had a computer screen which said ‘Which of these rashes does your child’s rash look most like?’. That’s something that’s very difficult to do if you’re talking to someone on the phone.”

Mr Hunt compared the system to 24-hour online banking, suggesting that it would operate through a combined approach of computer-generated advice backed up by human medical advisers.

“I think what will happen is the algorithms will get you to a certain point where, if it hadn’t solved the problem, they’d say you need to speak to a doctor or nurse or whatever. It would be a combined approach,” he said.

Published: Wednesday 4th February 2015 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search