The Future of SMS-It

We’ve made great progress in being the first to take a conversation diagram in Voiceflow and turn it into an SMS chatbot, but our vision of SMS-It is much greater than that.

Show Chatbot Analytics

Common feedback that we receive is that it would be useful to visualise and export data about the chatbots’ performance. This can help the NHS understand the impact of the deployed solution. Twilio collects telemetry that we may be able to access in the future.

Support more Voiceflow Features

Currently, we only support 3 different types of blocks: start, speak and choice blocks. Although these are the main ones required to make a majority of conversations, Voiceflow has other features such as integration blocks to connect to platforms like Google Sheets. Going forward, this would require extending our interpreter of VF files within vf-to-ubf to support these blocks.

Support more than just Yes or No Questions.

Our project’s main functional requirement was to make an SMS chatbot that could handle a Yes or No answer conversation. Going forward, a clinician may have a chatbot for physiotherapy and could ask more detailed questions like “how long have you had pain in your neck for?”, where the patient responds with “X many days/weeks/months”. This would mean we need to support being able to route to the next conversation from a custom user response.

Create conversation tree next to simulator to track conversation flow.

We currently give the ability to test our chatbot, but to further help with debugging and solidify this guarantee that the SMS chatbot works as expected, we could support displaying the conversation tree to the right of the UI phone simulator. This means that each time a clinician sends a message to the simulator, the potential outcomes are displayed to them and they can have a complete overview of what the conversation structure looks like.

Supporting conversation platforms other than Voiceflow.


The beautiful thing about our project is that with this unified bot format and the SMS API, we can take this project further by supporting other platforms like VUIX, Microsoft Bot Composer and many other platforms that allow you to build a conversation where currently there is no ability to deploy onto SMS.

Support SMS Platforms

Twilio is not the only platform to provide an SMS API. There are a wide range of these services that exist, such as GOV.UK Notify, which allow you to send emails, text messages and letters to people. In the future, we can have many of these other SMS platforms supported, creating a rich ecosystem of conversation and SMS platforms being connected together.

Making Scaling Simple

Clinicians currently use SMS broadcast platforms like accuRx, which allows them to send mass messages to many recipients. In the future, we can integrate these broadcast platforms, which will give clinicians the chance to broadcast a phone number to patients all from within our application.

Support Internet Services

Despite SMS having a massive reach, one could argue that we will transition more to internet services as time goes on. This is why we built the UBF SMS API that ubf-to-twilio implements. Going into the future, we can use this API to support other services such as WhatsApp or Signal, giving us the flexibility to use different communication protocols other than SMS.