EBO, Malta’s leading AI virtual assistant specialist, registered further success in its collaboration with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), Gege Gatt, CEO of EBO, said.

During a 12-week pilot project conducted by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, EBO’s AI-driven solution met the set targets, leading to a positive patient experience and reducing the booking workload at the hospital.

Throughout the pilot project, 10.44 per cent of patients automated the booking of events through EBO’s virtual assistant. 

This resulted in the significant saving of staff time and increased operational efficiency. More importantly, this placed patients at the centre of the healthcare system, giving them full control of their communication with their healthcare provider. Eighty-three per cent of patients registered a pleasant outcome.

“Statistics indicate that patients are becoming increasingly more open and ready to take on digital tools for their healthcare requirements,” Gatt said.

“The experience of work with EBO to deploy an AI-enabled Virtual Assistant has been very positive. EBO heard our concerns and helped design AI solutons that benefit our patients by providing an alternate way in which to interact with the Trust,” James Marriot, the digital change manager at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, commented.

"Patients are becoming increasingly more open and ready to take on digital tools for their healthcare requirements”

Gatt added: “Between 2020 and 2021, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust’s Outpatients Department handled 554,964 appointments. But while booking volumes usually increase year on year, the COVID pandemic temporarily reversed this pattern with activity dropping significantly. This created an appointment backlog to be handled and an opportunity for the adoption of digital tools to maximise booking efficiency. When the hospital deployed our AI-enabled Virtual Assistant to take on some of the booking workload, we immediately knew we’ll contribute to the advancement of healthcare in the UK. After the pilot, the hospital moved on to the deploy the solution into a full operational environment.”

EBO’s sophisticated AI-powered virtual assistants are integrated into major electronic patient record (EPR) systems. This means that hospitals can provide secure access to healthcare records to their patients 24/7, on any channel of the patient’s choice.

Currently deployed in multiple NHS trusts and private hospitals, EBO’s solution allows patients to schedule, rearrange and follow up on medical appointments through a variety of digital channels. Conversations are automated, eliminating unnecessary administration and saving time and money while providing patients with 24/7 access to manage their healthcare services.

The solution also delivers patient insights to help hospitals manage their resources and better understand patient needs.

EBO’s virtual assistants are also reducing the number of appointments not attended by patients, supporting discharge follow-ups, providing alerts and notifications and enabling patient self-assessments.

Gatt noted that the success being registered by EBO in the UK stems from the company’s commitment to internationalise and grow its customer base, a commitment that was confirmed last year with the appointment of Paul Boland as EBO.ai’s healthcare director, of Neil Taylor as senior healthcare consultant and of Christine Swain as senior clinical consultant.

“It is extremely rewarding and a source of great pride for us all watching our innovative AI solution bring such a tangible contribution to the transformation of UK healthcare and we look forward to repeating this success in other countries too,” Gatt concluded.

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