Hailed as a “real innovation” and a “step change”, Orbital Global’s next generation AI assistant scoops Best Innovation CHi Award.

Orbital Global is proud to have won the highly coveted ‘Innovation of the Year’ award at the OTCToolbox Consumer Healthcare Industry (CHi) Awards 2021. This accolade honours the best consumer healthcare product innovation in 2020 and was presented to Orbital Global for its artificial intelligence digital assistant, VirtTuri®.

The result of four years’ development work via two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with the University of Essex and Cardiff University, VirtTuri is designed for use on a brand’s website, app, or social media. It has been initially trained to address a range of frequently asked questions involving a particular ailment, the product’s patient information leaflet, and immediate actions for the patient. Via machine learning, its accuracy improves with every use. 

Judges were impressed by the product’s ability to manage pharmacovigilance and report adverse-events, and highlighted that it uses innovative science to drive better outcomes for consumers and patients.

Assessed by a panel of 11 consumer healthcare experts, VirtTuri was described as: 

  • ‘a real innovation for the OTC industry’, which allows ‘permanent interaction with the respective patients on a high-quality level at the same time as integrating the pharmacovigilance needs.
  • ‘in tune with the pandemic times’ in a ‘world where online virtual chat functions are becoming increasingly necessary due to restrictions on personal interaction and also becoming more widely accepted by consumers’.

Peter Brady, Chief Executive at Orbital Global comments: ‘We are extremely proud of VirtTuri and know it performs brilliantly well, having already been adopted and rigorously tested by leading consumer healthcare brands, Sudocrem and Infacol. The technology is now ready for extensive rollout to the consumer healthcare industry, which is hugely exciting. 

‘Artificial intelligence is one of the most important technologies of the 21st Century. It is already impacting our daily lives and will continue to do so in the future. With this in mind, we are constantly innovating and plan to enhance VirtTuri even further, with the development of a patented visual avatar component later this year.’

The project was developed with the support of two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, a programme which links forward-looking businesses with academic experts. KTN is a delivery partner of the programme via its national network of specialist Knowledge Transfer Advisers. Jan Stringer was the Adviser on this project and added ““I have been delighted to support Orbital on three KTPs and every one has been an award winner! Not only have the projects delivered technical excellence the teams have worked so well collaboratively and Orbital’s flair for early commercialisation and user centred design is brilliant”.

VirtTuri was showcased at the inaugurual AI Festival earlier this year.

The OTCToolbox CHi awards recognise the best in business development and innovation around the world.

  • The KTP between Orbital Global and University of Essex received funding from EPSRC, ESRC and Innovate UK.
  • The KTP between Orbital Global and Cardiff University received funding from Innovate UK.
  • Funding competitions for KTP are open throughout the year. Find out more here.

Pictured: Peter Brady, Orbital Global



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