Health technology firm Royal Philips has collaborated with Orbita to develop conversational voice and chatbot applications to support its telehealth solutions.

Under the partnership agreement, the companies will work together to co-create next-generation conversational virtual assistants for Philips’ consumer health and patient support applications.

The joint development agreement will enable the usage of Orbita’s technology in digital health applications to improve the patient experience and increase efficiency across the health continuum.

Orbita offers healthcare, life-science and medical technology organisations with HIPAA-compliant chatbots and voice assistants for digital front door applications, remote and in-facility patient support, pre- and post-visit outreach, and other healthcare applications.

The firm’s conversational platform enables developers and non-technical staff to frame and easily manage cloud-based virtual assistants, which are deployable in smart speakers, web and mobile chat apps, short message service (SMS) and interactive voice response (IVR) services, as well as custom devices.

Orbita chief operating officer and president Nathan Treloar said: “Philips’ presence in the industry means they are at the forefront of healthcare’s most demanding challenges, where the greatest opportunities exist to apply the unique capabilities of Orbita’s products and solutions.”

In May last year, Philip acquired a minority stake in Orbita via its Health Technology Venture Fund.

Philips Ventures has a business-agnostic digital health fund, which invests in, and partners with healthcare informatics and health technology start-up companies to boost their growth.

Philips research head and chief technology officer Henk van Houten said: “With the acceleration in the adoption of telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, AI-enabled voice services, virtual assistants and chatbots are already playing an enabling role in driving 24/7 access to healthcare, enhancing patient engagement, and improving clinical efficiency.”

Recently, Philips and US-based openDoctor announced a partnership to deliver an integrated radiology patient engagement platform.

The platform leverages openDoctor’s real-time online appointment scheduling services as part of Philips’ newly launched Patient Management Solution.