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GPs to use new AI app to help diagnose patients

GPs in south east London will be given access to a new AI app to help diagnose patients during consultations.

Six CCGs in the capital have signed a one-year deal to use the the diagnostic tool, which is compatible with phones, tablets and computers.

The software sees GPs able to enter patients signs and symptoms; review diagnostic possibilities; access therapy and test guidelines; search for medication reactions as well as travel-related and infectious diseases; and browse a medical image library.

The tool also includes a differential diagnosis builder, enabling GPs to input all the patient’s findings, alongside their medical and travel history, and receive possible diagnoses identified using the database of clinical content and images.

GPs in Southwark and Lambeth have used the software since mid-May, while GPs in Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, and Lewisham will be given access by the end of June.

VisualDX, the US tech company behind the app, said the tool focuses on ‘enhancing diagnostic accuracy, aiding therapeutic decisions, and improving patient safety at the point of care’.

Dr Noel Baxter, NHS Southwark CCG clinical director for quality and service improvement and a GP in south east London, said the app would ‘strengthen’ the ‘support available to general practice in south east London’.

‘We want our patients to receive the right care, in the right setting, first time and we believe this tool will support GPs in their decision making,’ he added.

VisualDx chief executive Dr Art Papier said: ‘This agreement with NHS CCGs in south east London helps patients and clinicians alike to share in the decision-making process to optimise patient-centered outcomes in the pursuit of clinical excellence.’

The CCGs purchased the one-year license following a three-month trial – assessing impact on referrals, impact on provider confidence, and patient satisfaction and engagement – although the parties declined to share the results with Pulse.

It follows news of other AI tools being introduced to general practice, including an app that signposts patients away from GPs to alternative services and Prime Minister Theresa May’s new AI strategy to cut cancer deaths.