New chatbot offering timely advice to patients

Posted: Friday 29 April 2022 at 16:16

A chatbot could offer timely, relevant information and advice to people with visual impairments.

Professor Chris Dickinson has been working on a year-long project at the University of Manchester, to design a digital ‘personal assistant’ to help promote the range of resources and services available to patients visiting eye clinics.

These services are not always promoted or discussed with patients and by creating a chatbot Professor Dickinson hopes all those with visual impairments will be able to access the help they need.

A chatbot is a computer program which can mimic a participant in a human conversation. As well as understanding questions it is asked, it can respond to those questions with correct and informative answers.

Chris will be discussing the project, which was funded by the Macular Society, and its outcomes, at the next My Macular and Me webinar later this month.

If successful, the project could benefit the lives of people with macular disease and their quality of life, by improving their independence and mental well-being.

Researchers have been working closely with people with visual impairments, including members of the Macular Society, clinicians, eye clinic liaison officers (ECLOs) and experts in assistive technology to help with the project.

The Macular Society’s My Macular and Me webinars take place on the third Tuesday of every month at 7pm. Professor Dickinson will join the event on Tuesday 17 May.

Register for the event.