Tom Van De Putte, Co-founder and Partner & Piet Van de Steen, Founder, Bingli
Despite being the cornerstone of an effective healthcare system, medical consultation is often affected by the information gap. The reason for this is two-fold. On the one hand, health specialists are struggling to attend to an ever-increasing number of patients. They, as a result, dedicate only a limited window of time for every patient. This leads to the second part of the problem. When patients meet the healthcare consultants with a strict time-constraint, they most of the times fail to recall the exact symptoms, which may lead to late or even misdiagnosis of certain diseases that share similar symptoms. Such instances consequently prolong the overall duration of care delivery further.
Hence, this is imperative for the healthcare industry to redefine how consultations are carried out. The healthcare players need to move toward a qualitative medical consultation model that facilitates adequate care to patients while reducing the burden of specialised resources such as doctors, nurses, and other healthcare specialists. This calls for an end-to-end approach that binds multiple stakeholders of a care delivery model. Enter Bingli—a healthcare technology company—which achieves just that with its smart interviewer. Bingli’s smart interviewer, at its core, is the world’s first ‘consultation preparation’ platform. “Our smart medical interviewer makes diagnosis more qualitative,” enthuses Tom Van De Putte, co-founder and partner at Bingli. It prepares the patient ahead of the consultation by asking the majority of questions that a doctor would ask during the consultation. This medical interview is carried out virtually, from the comfort of patients’ homes, allowing the concerned individual to share all the necessary details of their symptoms and overall health condition, along with any relevant medical history. Bingli goes the extra mile by making the questions dynamic and aligned with patients’ answers. Bingli then gauges the symptoms and transmits this information to the doctor. The medical experts can then view the report in their dashboard. This frees up time for doctors to listen, be more empathic, and have more personal interaction with the patient during the physical check-up.
But how is all this done? Tom Van De Putte elaborates that his company adds a digital twist to differential diagnostic reasoning—the process of differentiating between two diseases with similar symptoms.
Bingli uses the data collection and analysis solutions to infer a sound conclusion regarding patients’ health condition. “We use AI and machine learning algorithm to think like a specialised doctor and perform critical medical reasoning,” he adds. Doctors can view the differential diagnosis, as well as edit and revise those reports, therefore creating the provision for Bingli’s machine learning algorithms to optimise its decision-making capabilities continually.
Our smart medical interviewer makes diagnosis more qualitative
For instance, if a patient needs to go through a surgical procedure, they need to answer a set of questions that analyses the probability of any possible complication during anaesthesia and dictates the actions that need to be taken before surgery (e.g. going off a particular medication). The Bingli ‘consultation preparation’ app can help collect and analyse this data for healthcare practitioners. It will also reduce the need to follow up with the patients, thereby freeing up the manual resources taken to perform the task.
Bingli’s AI-powered chatbot doesn’t stop only at paving the path for qualitative consultation. Based on the differential diagnosis, it also triggers specific administrative or operational tasks. For example, suppose the differential diagnosis of an orthopaedic patient asks for a radiology report for further diagnosis. In that case, the app can then route the patient to a radiologist first, instead of an orthopaedic surgeon. “We can organise a lot of workflows based on the differential diagnosis. It helps us in medical triage,” comments Tom Van De Putte. Such a provision of creating a medical triage within the Bingli app plays a crucial role in allocating the right care to the patients, on time. Analysing the differential diagnosis, the app flags a medical case based on its severity. This feature plays a pivotal role in specialised surgery and emergency medicine. Especially, considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, the triage module can help medical practitioners determine if a patient needs to be seen by a doctor. And even if a patient doesn’t test positive for COVID-19, they can continue taking the test depending on changes in their symptoms. “Patients can take this assessment over and over again, if they feel that the symptoms are changing and want to be re-evaluated,” explains Tom Van De Putte.
Revolutionising the healthcare sector with such a proactive approach, Bingli is now poised to expand its footprints in European countries such as the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the U.K. On the other hand, in the U.S., Bingli is focusing on partnering with surgeons and other related specialists in private clinics. The company is also focusing on orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery, ophthalmology, cardiology, emergency medicine, and chronic pain management along with the preoperative space as its primary areas of action. “For us, efficiency is the keyword, and we are laser-focused on making the healthcare delivery model more efficient. And we will continue to evolve on the path,” concludes Tom Van De Putte.