Thursday 9pm – 10pm, BBC2
Whilst the NHS is a much loved and cherished institution, even its most proud supporters cannot deny it appears to have a somewhat lacklustre approach to upgrading IT systems and keeping up with the private sector. This is backed up by the astonishing fact that the NHS is the biggest purchaser of fax machines, yes, you read that right. The embarrassment of the 2017 malware attack on the NHS further ridiculed the organisations IT – staff had to resort to pen and paper which caused hours of delays and problems.
The private sector is leading the way in innovation of healthcare services, many organisations are producing apps and algorithms to take over the brain power usually undertaken by medical professionals or people at home. These technical advances offer solutions from period trackers to reminders to take medication to the extreme end of smartphone based services for people seeking medical advice. This technological change is going to shake the NHS.
The most notable impact so far is the London based “GP at Hand service” which allows patients to check symptoms online and undertake video consultations where required, some 30000 Londoners have turned their back on the traditional GP to take up this innovative new service. The driving force behind the service offer a very simple vision “put an accessible and affordable health service in the hands of every person on Earth”.
In this documentary Dr Hannah Fry sets out to explore how Artificial Intelligence can realise the aspiration of this company as well as transform the NHS. She goes behind the scenes of the company responsible for GP at Hand Service App, exploring how the operate and how they see the future. Setting out to understand and answer the question if machines could ever replace doctors the company presents a man-versus-machine showdown. The two battle in triage and diagnosis to see if the AI bot can prove a match for the venerable and trusted GP?
Dr Fry is perfectly placed to explore the science behind the proposal, a trusted leader in the fields of mathematics and human behaviour she has already examined how AI computes and matches people seeking love online. She brings an engaging and quirky tone to her programmes and this is no exception.
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