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Bradford Council works on AI tool for adult social care

16/10/18

Mark Say Managing Editor

Bradford Council has begun to work on a project to use artificial intelligence (AI) in adult social care.

Robot holding large tick

It is developing a proof of concept for a digital navigation tool (DNT) powered by AI to take on some of the tasks usually handled by care staff.

The council has received £50,000 from the Local Government Association, in collaboration with NHS Digital, from the investment programme to transform social care through technology.

It has begun to work with healthcare tech specialist Rescon Technologies to design the relevant service requirements, taking in issues ranging from dental care to financial matters to watching football.

Work got under way in late August with the target of completing the project in mid-December, following which Bradford hopes to build on the findings with key stakeholders and look for further funding.

Listen, write and chat

A spokesperson said: “Using the latest developments in AI the DNT will have the capability to listen, write and chat online (conforming to international accessibility guidelines). This type of technology is designed to understand thousands of questions and will answer with clear and simple responses.”

She said the tool would give people an alternative route into self-managed care, guiding them through all the stages to lead to the same outcomes as conventional pathways. The project is aiming to ensure it can deal with people who struggle to use a keyboard or do not have English as a first language.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, portfolio holder for healthy people and places said: “This is an exciting time for us in Bradford as we head into a new digital era of AI piloting this new navigation tool.  We are looking forward to working with the Local Government Association and Rescon in seeing how this may benefit and possibly transform our future frontline access services.”

Image from iStock, zhev

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