New York-based startup Belong.Life has launched a conversational AI oncology mentor for cancer patients called Dave.

The software uses machine learning, logic learning models, and natural language processing to communicate with cancer patients and can provide answers to patients about their clinical journey. It retains a log of previous correspondence, allowing conversations to resume after a break. According to Belong.Life, Dave can be empathetic with users when providing answers.

Belong.Life trained the software on conversations from a proprietary app which allows real world interactions between cancer patients and doctors, and between patients themselves. The app, called Beating Cancer Together, is the world’s current largest social platform for cancer patients, according to the company. The app provided a plethora of datasets to help build the new AI interface.

Dave will be available for free through the Beating Cancer Together app and as a SaaS solution for hospitals, providers, and patient support groups. It has already been tested by more than 10,000 people who provided positive feedback.

The oncology mentor tool is the latest addition to a proliferation of conversational AI platforms. Healthcare has been a particular hotbed of innovation as the industry seeks to alleviate pressures on medical professionals. AI assistants have also, for example, helped patients gain accessibility to tackle mental health issues. However, there have been concerns about cybersecurity as data storage of sensitive conversations becomes more common. Nevertheless, the use of AI in healthcare is accelerating at a rapid pace, with GlobalData forecasting the revenue in healthcare alone to reach $4.3bn by 2024.

“Dave provides smart, personalised and accessible information instantaneously, which can greatly improve the quality of care and life for millions of patients worldwide,” said Eliran Malki, co-founder and CEO of Belong.Life.

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By GlobalData

According to Maliki, Belong is also developing additional conversational AI mentor and companion platforms for other health indications and organisations.