My name is Aliya Ram. I cover European technology for the FT. And this is Babylon's app. You tell it your symptoms and it asks you questions about how you're feeling. I'm going to tell the app I feel breathless.
It's telling me it's going to ask me a few questions about my symptoms. Is my main symptom difficulty breathing? Yes. It's asking if the symptom is chest pain. Yes. It's asking me if one or both of my ankles are swollen. I'm going to say yes.
Great. We're done. It's reminding me that this is only for general information and isn't a personal or medical diagnosis. The symptoms I've just told to Babylon are what the NHS describes for deep vein thrombosis that's developing into a dangerous pulmonary embolism. But Babylon's just told me that 9 out of 10 people with these symptoms have costochondritis, which is an inflammation of the cartilage joining your ribs and breast bones, which is a much less serious condition.
Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms are also both listed as conditions that 1 out of 10 people with these symptoms have. Babylon has more than 1.4 million users, and partnerships with the NHS, Samsung, and Tencent. But tests such as these suggest it may not be time to swap your GP to an AI doctor just yet.