Ambika Soni Dr. Anirban Chowdhury

Ambika Negi, a 3rd Year B.Des. student at the UPES School of Design has developed telemedicine app ‘Spotdoc’ to predict COVID-19 through AI-based analysis of symptoms.

The app helps in AI-based prediction of disease based on immediate symptoms. It has been devised with the latest technologies and includes features like monitoring blood pressure and heart rate, along with SOS call for ambulance.

Most of the telemedicine apps available in the market are devoid of features like e-prescription and medicine home delivery options, whereas this app makes optimum use of AI to do an immediate prediction of the disease and suggests specialists who can be helpful in treating the symptoms.

“Due to uncertainty and growing number of cases of COVID-19, people are prone to anxiety and panic if they show even minute symptoms of the virus. With this app, a patient can consult with doctors online (through audio and video calls) and doctors can generate an e-prescription to patients along with suggestions of medicine,” says Ms. Ambika Negi who led the invention.

The coronavirus outbreak has severely strained the health system with hospitals and doctors struggling to accommodate the increasing number of the patients all across the world. But telemedicine is being seen as an effective way to face the challenges and provide assistance to those who have been impacted by the outbreak.

In March this year, the Indian government issued guidelines for telemedicine that enabled doctors to write prescriptions via applications and on telephone. It helped in reducing the transmission of the virus between doctors and the patients. Taking inspiration from the changing landscape of the world’s healthcare system, Ambika, a student of Product Design from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, initiated the idea of the AI-based telemedicine app.

Ambika further adds that immediately after the e-prescription, the app shows details of the pharmacists in the neighbourhood that deliver medicine at home. Hence, patients can order the medicine then and there.

“The immediate target audiences are the people who have a fear of going to the hospital due to COVID-19 scenario or the elderly who do not have a support system. It will provide immediate medical support to them and help them call an ambulance or seek medical advice in an emergency situation. The mobile app will also be applicable and useful in post COVID-19 scenarios,” explains Ambika.

The application, which is in the process of development, is expected to be launched in the market by end of the year and will be available in Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and English languages, with a voice assistance for the visually impaired.

When asked about the future course of action, Dr. Anirban Chowdhury, Assistant Professor, UPES School of Design, and Coordinator, Interaction Design Program, adds: “After the development of this application, we need to conduct a campaign for circulation and adoption of this application. We also plan to roll out free health camps and conduct online demos for utilizing this telemedicine mobile application with the help of NGOs or government organisations.”