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How we did it

The Challenge

Imagine unlocking 80 years of scientific research - 15,000 pages of data - to help 10 million people with arthritis better manage their pain, 24/7.

That was the challenge set to us by Arthritis Research UK. With over 200 different forms of the condition, people living with it have struggled to find answers to their specific day to day needs. That was until now. Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence, we have created a revolutionary web app that uses simple conversational language to allow them to ask a question and to get it answered immediately, anytime, anywhere.

The Virtual Assistant has the potential to revolutionise the lives of people living with arthritis. In the short-term it can provide instant solutions to pain. Over the long-term, as it learns more, collates data and adds to our knowledge and understanding around the issues that face those we serve, it will allow us to make lasting changes to their lives.

The cognitive understanding of IBM Watson can adapt to questions asked and respond with instant, qualified recommendations - something which, up until now, could well have taken hours to search for, or indeed weeks of waiting for an appointment with a doctor.

The Arthritis Virtual Assistant is still in its early stages. Currently a live Beta is being tested by 500 people across the UK. The more the tool is used, the more it learns, meaning its scope and power will grow over time, for example, with additional functionality of voice recognition. Not only that, as the Virtual Assistant learns, it gathers data and understanding, such as how questioning changes dependent on the person’s age, location or weather type. All of this means the solutions we provide and the research we undertake can be adapted and refined in response to live data.