Developing AI-driven survey technology for collecting patient-reported outcome measures

Exploring AI technology for improving patient care and outcome measurement.

Start date

1 October 2024


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding information

UKRI standard stipend (£18,622 for 2023-2024), tuition fee covered, research training supports up to £1,000 per year. Only candidates who pay UK/home rate fees are eligible for the studentship/scholarship. International students are welcome to apply but they will need to either self-fund or secure funding from other sources.


High-quality clinical care and research relies on patients sharing their feelings, experiences, and symptoms. The medical community's growing emphasis on Patient-Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) reflects this, as PROMs provide essential insights into health, quality of life, and functional status, complementing biology-based health metrics.

This research aims to develop next-generation technology that integrates Artificial Intelligence (AI) with advanced digital survey methodology to enhance the collection of PROMs. Utilising an AI-driven patient survey bot capable of providing both text-based and conversational PROMs with real-time, personalized support, This approach seeks to improve patient satisfaction and accessibility for patients with personal needs, such as those with vision impairments and language barriers. This innovation aims to maintain the cost advantage of digital survey technologies while significantly enhancing real-time, personalised supports through human-like interactions.

The project is organised as a series of three studies, each of them will lead to a research publication. The three publications will constitute the PhD dissertation for the student.

  • Study 1 (1st year): This study will conduct a systematic review of existing research on the application of chatbot technology in survey research. The student will receive training on survey methodology, software development and PROM research in this year.
  • Study 2 (2nd year): This study will develop an AI-driven survey bot that is accessible for patients with personal needs, such as those with vision impairments and language barriers, and ensure the bot for safely handling sensitive issues arising from collecting PROMs like reporting self-harm, suicidal thoughts, domestic violence, and adverse medical events, through comprehensive training and testing.
  • Study 3 (3rd year): This study will compare the AI-powered bot against traditional survey methods to evaluate its mode effects and assess its psychometric properties to collect broad-based and disease-specific PROMs. This study will also collect information on user experiences.

Eligibility criteria

You will need to meet the minimum entry requirements for the Health Sciences PhD programme.

Open to candidates who pay UK/home rate fees. See UKCISA for further information.

How to apply

Applications should be submitted via the Health Sciences PhD programme page. In place of a research proposal you should upload a document stating the title of the project that you wish to apply for and the name of the relevant supervisor.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Haomiao Jin

Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.