AI revolution continues with first social care bots

Tech-enabled homecare platform Cera and Bloomsbury AI unveil an AI assistant that is likely to transform social care.


socialcareFor those who watched the Channel 4 series Humans will be familiar with the synth care worker who looks after mad scientist William Hurt. Efficient and terrifying, she will coming to your real life from screens soon.

Very soon… if ‘tech-enabled homecare platform’ Cera and Bloomsbury AI have their way.

They have launched an AI assistant called Martha, who will address patients’ care enquiries in real-time, enhance the knowledge and capabilities of care workers and later predict deteriorations in health through multiple language interfaces including text messaging.

Aimed at raising the bar in social care, the launch of Martha comes as analysts forecast that chatbots could save businesses $8 billion a year by 2022, with healthcare among the industries gaining the biggest cost savings.

Martha will initially be used by Cera’s patients and their family members via its website and live chat to advise on specific care needs and respond to questions like “My father has Dementia. What type of care package would you recommend?”

Martha will also be capable of answering questions that a carer may have based on a patient’s care records, and provide crucial advice if something causes her concern.

For example, if a care worker notes that ‘Mrs. Taylor seems quite feverish’, Martha may respond with ‘Mrs. Taylor had a cough recently, you may want to check her temperature and take note of her other symptoms’. This is because bot Martha has read the patient’s case notes and knows their background.

Having delivered tens of thousands of care hours and accruing millions of data points, Cera believes it can identify healthcare trends among those receiving homecare.

Using a combination of deep learning, machine reading and data augmentation, Martha will be able to answer increasingly complex questions about a patient’s care and health needs, with the ultimate goal of reducing avoidable trips to A&E by catching acute conditions early on.

Cera, which launched in November 2016 matches those needing care with a highly-experienced carer at the right time and at the right place. The service, which is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), is the only platform of its kind to get a carer to your door or hospital bed in under 24 hours.

“We’ve begun to witness how AI is transforming healthcare, both in the NHS and globally. However, these capabilities have yet to venture into the social care space. With the launch of Martha that’s set to change, allowing the elderly to benefit from technology in a way that’s life-enhancing, while easing demands on busy A&E departments,” said Dr Ben Maruthappu, Cera’s Co-Founder and President.

Monty (593 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.


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About Monty

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.

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