Nikoletta Ventoura


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Can Large Language Models Safely Address Patient Questions Following Cataract Surgery?
Mohita Chowdhury | Ernest Lim | Aisling Higham | Rory McKinnon | Nikoletta Ventoura | Yajie He | Nick De Pennington
Proceedings of the 5th Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop

Recent advances in large language models (LLMs) have generated significant interest in their application across various domains including healthcare. However, there is limited data on their safety and performance in real-world scenarios. This study uses data collected using an autonomous telemedicine clinical assistant. The assistant asks symptom-based questions to elicit patient concerns and allows patients to ask questions about their post-operative recovery. We utilise real-world postoperative questions posed to the assistant by a cohort of 120 patients to examine the safety and appropriateness of responses generated by a recent popular LLM by OpenAI, ChatGPT. We demonstrate that LLMs have the potential to helpfully address routine patient queries following routine surgery. However, important limitations around the safety of today’s models exist which must be considered.


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Theano: A Greek-speaking conversational agent for COVID-19
Nikoletta Ventoura | Kosmas Palios | Yannis Vasilakis | Georgios Paraskevopoulos | Nassos Katsamanis | Vassilis Katsouros
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for Positive Impact

Conversational Agents (CAs) can be a proxy for disseminating information and providing support to the public, especially in times of crisis. CAs can scale to reach larger numbers of end-users than human operators, while they can offer information interactively and engagingly. In this work, we present Theano, a Greek-speaking virtual assistant for COVID-19. Theano presents users with COVID-19 statistics and facts and informs users about the best health practices as well as the latest COVID-19 related guidelines. Additionally, Theano provides support to end-users by helping them self-assess their symptoms and redirecting them to first-line health workers. The relevant, localized information that Theano provides, makes it a valuable tool for combating COVID-19 in Greece. Theano has already conversed with different users in more than 170 different conversations through a web interface as a chatbot and over the phone as a voice bot.