This week, the global pharmaceutical company UCB announced the release of their PD Coach app for Parkinson’s patients, equipped with an artificial intelligence (AI) virtual assistant. The Belgian company partnered with customer engagement company Verint Systems to create the smartphone app designed to offer patients a convenient support system.
‘April’, the virtual PD Coach, leverages Verint’s Alme Platform and Behavioral Observation System (BOS) module, allowing the AI to have skillful conversations to engage customers in a natural manner. The platform also provides the PD Coach with knowledge of Parkinson’s disease, allowing April to provide specifics about the disease with the patient. PD Coach also communicates with patients via speech and dexterity challenges.
The app will support journaling and symptom tracking as well, allowing patients to document their disease experience.
“Our PD Coach, April, offers a vital support system to people living with and caring for those with Parkinson’s disease, leveraging AI technology to provide ongoing, personalized support and access to the resources they need,” said Mike Davis, head of UCB’s US Neurology Patient Value Unit. “We designed the PD Coach to address specific challenges that Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers may face — including its unique ability to learn and adjust to language and vocabulary for patients with dexterity and speech issues.”
UCB and Verint announce the launch of UCB’s PD Coach App, a digital health coach that helps support an automated and improved patient journey for people living with #Parkinsons. Fun Fact: She’s named “April” for #Parkinsonsawarenessmonth. Read more: https://t.co/XGJ6MKOxiI pic.twitter.com/harFvNaWv5
— UCB USA (@UCBUSA) November 15, 2018
April also has features that relate directly to Parkinson’s disease in areas such as PD diagnosis and symptom analysis, disease progression, UCB patient services, and patient support groups and events. Being that she utilizes AI, April will be able to grow and continuously improve her knowledge of the patient, personalizing the support provided. The overarching goal of using AI in the app is to guide patients to achieving real health outcomes.
“With insights from patients on the challenges they face with disease management, April was created as more than a resource to offer information,” Davis said. “April is designed to build a relationship with the patient and help deliver what patients value when it comes to their care.”
PD Coach is currently available through both the Apple and Android app stores. Any smartphone user can download the app and begin using the AI service for assistance in managing Parkinson’s disease.