Pfizer and Catalia launch robot-based scheme to help patients take their medicine


Pfizer and Catalia Health have launched a year-long pilot scheme that explores how patients engage with cute robot companions that uses AI to check on symptom management and help with medication adherence.

A 12-month pilot between Pfizer and San Francisco-based Catalia will use the Mabu Wellness Coach, which can interact with patients using AI algorithms to engage in tailored conversations.

Software called the Mabu Care Insights Platform delivers detailed data and insights to patients at a specialist pharmacy to help human caregivers should they wish to make an interaction.

The hope is that the system will help better manage symptoms and address patients’ questions in real time. 

It uses uses a voice-based interface designed for simple, intuitive use by a wide variety of patients in remote care environments. Mabu also generates health tips and reminders to help patients get additional information about their condition and treatments. The cloud-based platform delivers unique conversations to patients each time they have a conversation with Mabu.

Kidd, who is also Catalia’s CEO, said: “At Catalia Health we’ve seen firsthand the benefits that AI has brought to healthcare for both the patient and the healthcare systems.

Our work with Pfizer allows us to engage with patients on a larger scale and therefore gain access to more insights and data that we hope can improve health outcomes.”

Pfizer is not alone in trying to use robot companions to interact with patients – researchers at MIT Media Lab, Boston Children’s Hospital and Northeastern University have deployed a robotic teddy bear across several paediatric units.

The robot named Huggable is currently operated by specialists who use software to control its facial expressions and body actions, and direct its gaze.

In the long run the goal is to use AI technology to make Huggable fully autonomous.

Source: Pharmaphorum