Year/Course: 2017-2018, Easter 2018

Inventor: Anthony Silver, Voice for Good
Mentor: Dr. Simon Pulman-Jones

Voice for Good offers web-based services for people without access to the internet, through their voice-powered platform called Vocodo, accessible via a basic phone call. The first two services are Vocodo Translate, which offers a translation service between the 15 currently-supported languages, and Vocodo Health which offers a medical assessment service in interview format.

The core of the technology is the ability to take natural language input at any stage of the voice interaction and map it to the expected format for the web-based service. Existing web forms are often not in a format that translates easily for great voice user experiences, especially if it is the first time someone has accessed that particular service, so Voice for Good aims to fill that gap and make voice services both powerful and intuitive.

Vocodo Health has been designed initially for use in developing countries where people often live far from health centres and visiting a doctor may involve significant time and expense. A simple first triage system may have huge benefits in this environment, to help people make an informed decision of whether or not to travel to their nearest doctor. In the UK a phone-based triage system is offered through NHS 111, similarly intended to reduce unnecessary visits to the doctor or hospital, while ensuring that patients with an urgent need do come in.

The system is designed to be flexible so it can be used as an interface to many existing services in a variety of ways. The question for the i-Team is to investigate its use across the full range of healthcare-related applications in both developed and developing nations. They will identify where it would add the most value, so that the inventor can focus his efforts appropriately. As part of this investigation, the team will also be asked to gather information on any similar products or services in the developing world and the pricing models that they use.