Clinova has launched Healthwords, one of the world’s first conversational AI tools solely focused on providing healthcare advice and self-care products in the UK.

The tool aims to transform the self-care industry by using a template similar to ChatGPT but making the search specific to a single sector. 

It is powered by machine learning algorithms that have been trained on verified medical content from a team of over 50 doctors and pharmacists including 200,000 medical words and draws from a medical lexicon of more than 97,000 medical terms.

Healthwords is an end-to-end solution for self-care, providing users with 24/7 access to fast personalised healthcare advice based on their individual needs. When users input their question or symptom into the conversational search function the generative AI technology will provide medically verified answers or advice, and then recommend self-care products if directed to do so. 

Users will also have the option to read more about their condition in full-length verified medical articles or chat online with a human pharmacist in real-time should they want a second opinion. The user can then choose to purchase self-care products and arrange for them to be delivered to their homes all through the single platform.

Healthwords is especially relevant for those who want non-urgent healthcare advice but don’t have the time or ability to visit the pharmacist during standard working hours. While it is not designed as a replacement for visiting a medical professional, it educates users in self-care, removing the stigma or apathy associated with seeking in-person advice about certain personal symptoms.

NHS England has previously reported there are 18 million GP appointments and 2.1 million visits to A&E every year for conditions that could be dealt with at home, costing £850 million. By empowering patients across the UK with verified information that would allow them to manage self-treatable conditions instead of going to a GP, millions of unnecessary NHS appointments could be released. 

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Healthwords may soon have the capability to provide prescription medication for common conditions, such as earache and sore throat, following the UK’s Government’s recent announcement for patients to receive such prescriptions without a GP appointment. 

“We are very excited by the launch of Healthwords. As we have seen more generally, AI-powered conversational search tools have the power to transform people’s lives, and this is especially true in healthcare,” said Sir Simon Burns, Government Liaison Officer for Clinova and former MP and Former Minister in the Department of Health.

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“Our self-care advice product has the advantage of being free, easy-to-use and anonymous. We think it will be particularly attractive to individuals, who do not have the time to visit a medical professional for less serious conditions.”

The advice offered on the Healthwords platform has been approved by Healthowrds Healthcare Council, which comprises a team of highly regarded medical professionals.

Dr Tom Maggs, chief medical officer for Healthwords, said: “The launch of Healthwords could be a real breakthrough because there is a strong movement for consumer empowerment, especially in healthcare. 

“Most consumers are savvy with the internet and are willing and able to search for answers that are relevant and tailored to their individual circumstances. Many of them prefer this type of interaction – anonymous, on their terms, at their convenience.”

The service is accessed through the Healthwords app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.

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