University of Manchester develops AI-powered doctor correspondence

The University of Manchester has teamed up with Spectra Analytics and Advanced to develop an AI solution for GP letter correspondence.

Together they are establishing ‘Docman10X’, an AI version of existing healthcare software, which will automatically read patient letters and only show a GP correspondence when the tech thinks it needs further action.

Several GPs have already agreed to take part in the first set of testing, which began earlier this month.

“GP practices receive hundreds of letters each day,” said Dr Benjamin Brown, GP partner in Salford and researcher at The University of Manchester. “These figures are likely to increase as clinical services that were delayed as a result of Covid-19 start to pick up again. While GPs can’t reduce their workload, they can change the way they work.

He added: “Around 80-90 per cent 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 that actually need their input.”

Ric Thompson, managing director health and care at Advanced said: “We have some incredibly exciting plans to launch and further develop our Docman10X solution in 2021.

He explained: “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.”

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