EBO’s solutions reaching 14 million patients in UK’s NHS | Gege Gatt

EBO recently launched its Intelligent Patient Portal (IPP), a new AI-based healthcare patient engagement tool set to revolutionize healthcare engagement through more empathy and efficiency. “The significance of this milestone is not just in the product itself but also in how EBO, from just a small Maltese startup is today setting new standards for what is achievable in healthcare technology,” says its CEO Dr Gege Gatt


What led to the creation of your new The Intelligent Patient Portal?

The Intelligent Patient Portal (IPP) is a collaborative effort driven by the rising demand for more intuitive and accessible healthcare interactions. Hospitals, aiming for operational efficiency and cost savings, were a key catalyst while academic research supporting AI's effectiveness in healthcare portals bolstered our confidence in IPP's development. Notably, our new IPP portal was possible thanks to EBO’s benefitting from a financing scheme by the Malta Development Bank and Bank of Valletta which provides favourable terms for the development of Intellectual Property in projects involving innovation and digitisation.

Where does this new product stand in terms of EBO’s activity in the UK? What does this new product mean to your company’s journey?

In terms of EBO’s journey in the healthcare sector, the IPP introduces Conversational AI and speech capabilities as transformative mediums for healthcare interactions and its multi-language support and user-friendly interface contribute directly to making healthcare more accessible and effective. Thirdly, the IPP’s unique features, backed by data-driven insights and compliance with NHS standards, position EBO as a market leader in the UK.

How does the Intelligent Patient Portal fit into EBO's broader vision for AI in healthcare?

The differentiation factors of our IPP amplifies our brand and adds significant value to our stakeholders in line with our strategy to infuse AI-powered empathy into healthcare, setting a new standard in how providers and patients engage. But IPP is not just a new product but the embodiment of EBO's ethos of leveraging AI to solve pressing market challenges while adhering to stringent ethical and performance standards. It elevates our position in the UK market and marks a pivotal step in our company’s journey towards redefining healthcare engagement.

In less technical terms, what are the standout features of the IPP that make this product unique in the healthcare industry?

The Intelligent Patient Portal allows patients to have normal conversations with the healthcare portal, and acts like an assistant, reminding patients of their next appointments and even directing them to local support groups and resources. And over time, it gets better and smarter, learning from interactions to refine its capabilities. And thanks to its ability to analyse input from patients, the IPP understands patients’ sentiment helping hospital teams to gauge how patients feel about their healthcare experience.

How does IPP address pressing needs and challenges in the healthcare market?

IPP overcomes language barriers and complex forms in healthcare through Natural Language Processing. Patients communicate naturally in their preferred language, fostering a better understanding of their healthcare options. IPP’s 'human touch' understands the content and emotional context of patient queries to ensure empathetic interactions, remembers past interactions and delivers seamless and personalized patient experiences while avoiding the frustration of starting from scratch.

EBO has been supporting the NHS for quite some time. What were the major milestones and at what stage is EBO at in its relationship with the NHS today?

One of our most notable achievements is that today we are reaching over 14 million patients across several territories which continues to allow us to test, refine, and deliver our solutions. Another landmark was simplifying the tech interface and increasing accessibility to empower the most vulnerable populations to engage with healthcare services. Today, our relationship with the NHS is such that our technology solutions are not just add-ons but integral parts of the healthcare infrastructure and the introduction of the IPP, will cement this relationship further.

What hurdles persist to achieve better patient engagement and inclusivity?

In my opinion, there are three most pressing hurdles. The complexity and lack of transparency in healthcare systems could be deterring patients from fully engaging in their healthcare journey. A lack of trust concerning data privacy could be deterring patients from fully utilising digital health tools, which then affects engagement. The third challenge is the archaic and fragmented systems which hinder seamless data sharing and effective patient engagement.

Can you provide a practical example of how the IPP simplifies clinical workflows through conversational AI?

Let’s take an example of a patient suffering from lower back pain who receives a CT scan referral from her General Practitioner and is then introduced to the new MSK pathway via the NHS App.

Almost immediately, she receives a notification on her mobile phone from the MSK Virtual Assistant residing in EBO’s IPP, urging her to self-schedule her appointment. She schedules her appointments, receives human-like responses, accesses care records, and completes forms efficiently, saving 40% of her time. The Virtual Assistant reminds her of appointments, communicates in multiple languages, schedules follow-ups, and simplifies feedback. This example illustrates IPP's transformative impact on clinical workflows, patient engagement, language diversity, and time efficiency, marking a paradigm shift in healthcare.

What are EBO's future plans for further enhancing the IPP and expanding its reach?

We plan to broaden the scope of the workflows supported by the IPP, informed by real-world use cases and the latest academic research on healthcare delivery and AI utility to offer a more holistic healthcare experience. We also plan to expand language options and accessibility features whilst exploring strategic partnerships to expand IPP's reach, both geographically and in terms of integration with other platforms and Health Record systems.

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