Virtual doctors
Patients might not need to visit their GPs in person anymoreOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

MedicSpot, a UK-based company, is setting up kiosks where patients can get a quick virtual appointment with a doctor and get tested and treated for minor illnesses.

The service has been set up inside pharmacies across the UK, and as reported by engadget, have a number of tools and equipment that can help GPs make diagnoses without them being in the same location.

The stalls have a computer and a webcam through which the patient can interact with a doctor. The kiosks will also have stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, thermometers, pulse oximeters and even instruments that help doctors look into the mouth and ears of patients.

According to the company's website, "MedicSpot can deal with about 95% of things you would normally see your GP for."

The company is registered with the Care Quality Commission, according to their site.

Patients need to book slots and show up to the kiosks and connect with GPs. Doctors can diagnose and treat patients as well as hand over prescriptions that the patient can collect from the pharmacy directly.

The company claims that 20% of all the patients come in with bookings and that they treat all minor illnesses like coughs, cold, allergies infections, and eye problems. The MedicSpot website also notes that tourists who are in need of emergency care can approach the kiosks.

Consultations typically cost around £30 and sessions last around 10-15 minutes, as per the company website. However, the company says they do not treat accidents and other emergencies as well as certain chronic conditions.

While companies like MedicSpot are working towards bringing the doctor to the patient, the NHS has already started trials on medical AI. The NHS has partnered with Google's DeepMind to develop the technology which they hope can ease the "enormous pressure" they are under, according to the DeepMind website.

DeepMind also claims that "AI tools will be able to learn how to analyse test results and scans to instantly recognise whether a patient might be at risk, and continually improve to get even better."