Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has invested in his “personal capacity” in a Delhi-based health startup that uses an artificial intelligence-based bot in its app as he wants to contribute to a future where AI is seen as a “positive enhancement of humanity”.
Recently, it introduced an artificial intelligence-based ‘chatbot’ that acts as a digital assistant to provide “smart help” to patients in accessing consultation from doctors.
Vaibhav Singh, co-founder and head of growth at the firm, claims it is country’s first AI-integrated health app, and “we had pitched to our investors highlighting this aspect only”.
Stone, one of the three Silicon Valley-based investors in the startup, said Visit facilitates a “symbiotic relationship between AI and doctors”, making a hugely positive impact for patients.
“This is why I can get so optimistic about technology amplifying the best in humanity. Investing in Visit is my small way of contributing to a future where AI is seen as a positive enhancement of humanity that really does improve lives,” said Stone.
Visit Internet Services was started by four students of BITS-Pilani, including Vaibhav, now 24, while they were in the final year of their course. The venture has already received funding from MapMyIndia.
“Among Indian investors, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, co-founders of e-commerce firm, Snapdeal, have invested in our company. Other Bay Area-based (US-based) investors are BlueJeans Network co-founder Alagu Periyannan and Karthee Madasamy, a former top official of Qualcomm Ventures. All of them have invested in personal capacity,” Vaibhav said.
“The bot learns about conditions and their associated symptoms by parsing millions of live chats on the Visit app and uses its NLP (Natural Language Processing) engine to extract information about symptoms and possible diagnoses by the doctor,” said Shashvat Tripathi, 25, head of technology at Visit Shashvat.
The bot learns using this data and uses the information to “reinforce its decision network. It does not throw up stored responses to questions, but learns from the answers given by the user, which makes it unique,” he said.
“We have enhanced the chatbot since its launch. It now also tracks user’s activity, sleep, calories and fitness data to help them reach their goals with continuous reminders, insights, and motivation,” Vaibhav added.
Visit offers paid online consultation, through video and voice channels, and seven days of free follow-up check-up over text chat. Besides, it maintains a pool of MBBS doctors, who through its ‘Q’ service, offer free health advice by text.
The online platform, currently has a pool of 2,200 doctors which include psychologists, dietitians, dermatologists, sexologists, gynaecologists, preventive cardiology, and paediatrician, besides general physicians.
“For a general physician (having an MD), the consultation fee is Rs 400, for a psychologist (Rs 800), sexologist (Rs 500), gynaecologist (Rs 400), among other verticals,” he said.
Stone while appreciating the AI aspect of the app, said its objective is “not to replace the doctor” but to help practitioners in an assistive way.
“The true promise of technology is to amplify the best traits in humanity. It doesn’t always seem like that, and I’ll admit there are legitimate concerns about the possible negative impact of the fourth industrial revolution.
“However, being the hallucinogenic optimist that I am, I like to focus attention on the bright spots that show us a beautiful future,” he said.