Jim Harper reckons he can train your smartphone to recognise when you are ill. With a little more time, he believes he could teach it to detect any early signs of Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s — simply from the tone of someone’s voice.
“We’re not trying to create a replacement for the judgment of physicians,” said Harper, lead scientist at PureTech Health, a London-listed health technology company. “It would provide additional information that would help to triage you [decide on the urgency of the case], and a patient then doesn’t have to go through primary care. You could go directly to your specialist.”
Robots are transforming healthcare. There are already androids that aid surgeons in operating theatres, and artificial intelligence (AI) systems that scan X-rays for signs of lung disease. Soon, robot doctors could even be writing a prescription.
Read more: Is there a robot doctor in the house?