Brisa is a virtual assistant (chatbot) designed to help people with Asthma improve their quality of life. It has been developed by a team of researchers, doctors and nurses at Imperial College London with support from UKRI and Ashthma+Lung UK. It is designed to help those with asthma understand their risk of having an asthma attack, improve their symptoms, and reduce hospitalisations.
Dr Ernie Wong Consultant Respiratory Physician
Design and Development
Dr Darren Cook
Research Associate – NLP and Software Development
Dr Dorian Peters
Research Associate – User Research and Technology Design
Dr George Rizos
Research Associate – Machine Learning
Dr Constantinos Kallis
Research Associate – Statistics and Predictive Modelling
Advisory and Testing Team
Dr Manu Sidhu
Respiratory Specialist Nurse
Respiratory Specialist Nurse
As a team of doctors, nurses and researchers we take privacy and data protection very seriously. Any conversation you have with the Brisa chabot is confidential and the data is anonymised. Our research team will use the anonymous chat data to improve the service, and to contribute to research on health technologies, but the data will never be linked to you.
When you chat with Brisa using WhatsApp, you will be protected by end-to-end encryption meaning nobody other than you and the person you’re chatting with (in this case a bot) can read or listen to what is sent, not even WhatsApp. For added privacy, you can also opt to set up device-based encryption on your phone.
Over 5.4 million people have asthma in the UK, and despite £1 Billion a year in NHS spending on asthma treatment, the UK mortality rate is the highest in Europe. One of the reasons for this statistic, is that risk is often dramatically underestimated by many with asthma. This leads to neglect of early care, poor control, and eventually, hospitalisation. Therefore, improving accurate risk assessment and reduction via relevant behaviour change among people with asthma could save lives and dramatically reduce health care costs.
With funding from the UKRI and Ashthma+Lung UK, our multi-sector team aims to address this early-care gap by investigating a new type of low-cost, and scalable personalised risk assessment, combined with follow-up automated support for risk reduction. The technology will leverage artificial intelligence to calculate a personalised asthma risk score based on voice features and self-reported data. It will then provide personalised advice on actions that can be taken to lower risk followed by customised conversational guidance to support the process of healthy change
The technology is being developed collaboratively with direct involvement from people with asthma, representatives from Asthma and Lung UK, respiratory specialist clinicians and asthma nurses through co-design methods and regular feedback in order to ensure the guidance provided is clinically sound, and delivered in a way that is autonomy-supportive, clear, useful, and engaging to patients.
The project has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC project EP/W002477/1) and Asthma+Lung UK.