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There is no doubt that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is completely reshaping the Healthcare Industry. Chatbots are at the heart of that reshape.

Developments undertaken at a rapid scale in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (ML), chatbots have become immensely popular as they are put to use across various sectors and market segments.

  • According to a report conducted by Juniper Research, annual cost savings derived from the adoption of chatbots will reach a staggering $3.6 billion globally by 2022, up from an estimated $2.8 billion in 2017. It is also estimated that the global chatbot market will reach $1.23 billion by 2025.
  • This will constitute an average growth of 320% per year, as AI-powered chatbots will optimize the customer experience for patients.

On top of all that, experts believe that Healthcare chatbots will play an increasingly important role in the Healthcare industry in the upcoming years.

Since the objective is to deliver the best medical services to patients, Healthcare companies and providers are embracing the latest tectonic shifts in the Healthcare industry. To do so, they are adopting the latest technology trends in order to evolve and adapt to market needs.

In the Digital Era, patients expect faster responses. This is especially true as far as the Healthcare industry is concerned. In a competitive and critical market such as Healthcare, providers cannot afford to take a chance and keeping patients happy and satisfied is the ultimate goal.

As the customer experience is being taken into a new level, providers are eager to invest in automated tools, such as Healthcare Chatbots in order to offer timely services.

In light of this new economic and healthcare landscape, it is important to understand what are chatbots, and how healthcare chatbots can benefit the industry and optimize the customer experience.

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What are Chatbots?

Chatbots are generally defined as AI-based computer programs that simulate human conversation.

They are digital assistants that understand human capabilities. Chatbots interpret and process user queries and give relevant answers based on said queries. 

Through voice as a well as texts, Chatbots can be deployed across websites, applications, and messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack etc. 

Healthcare Chatbots Benefits

When talking about Chatbots in the Healthcare Industry, the possibilities for them to grow are very high, even though their adoption is not yet widespread.

As health services become more patient-centric, offering a personalized and a satisfactory customer experience is of paramount importance for healthcare providers. Using a Healthcare Chatbot constitutes a great solution for numerous reasons. 

Healthcare Chatbot Builds Trust

The Healthcare sector as a whole suffers from staffing shortages. Patients that are looking to access care struggle to get through to the doctors and physicians they want to talk to. The result that ensues is frustration for patients, and lost revenues for healthcare providers.

Healthcare chatbots can be used to sort patients and guide them to receive the appropriate help in a timely manner. A Healthcare chatbot can be considered as a more reliable and accurate alternative to online searches people conduct when they are trying to understand the cause of their symptoms.

As a result, a Healthcare Chatbot can help patients who are not sure or simply don’t know where they should go or receive treatment. Many people simply do not know when their conditions require a visit to the ER and when it’s enough to contact their doctors via telemedicine. Regular patients are not trained medically to understand the severity of their diseases.

This is why implementing chatbots in the healthcare industry can help. They collect basic information from patients. Based on the user’s input, they provide patients with more information about their conditions and offer suggestions for the next steps to be taken. Consequently, the person communicating with a Healthcare Chatbot is informed about his possible condition and is offered to visit a medical professional at the medical institution. This smooth, seamless communication with the Healthcare Chatbot prompts the individual to view the medical institution as a reliable healthcare provider

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Healthcare Chatbot Optimizes Patient Engagement

When it comes to online queries, users traditionally rely on a Graphical User Interface (GUI). This requires navigating through menus and screens and using a computer language so-to-speak instead of relying on standard human language. 

A Healthcare Chatbot on the other hand, can provide a two-way interaction based on text or voice input and draw context from the conversation to meet a user’s needs. It can access data to provide the necessary information and do so securely.

This sort of personalized, all-access approach is dubbed conversational healthcare. As a result, Conversational AI in Healthcare offers a more personalized interaction with customers and increases user engagement, thereby generating more brand awareness and bolstering the brand identity.

Chatbot Healthcare Use Cases

To offer a better understanding of how Healthcare Chatbots can actually work, here are 3 actual implementations

SafeDrugBot

SafeDrugBot is a specialized Healthcare Chatbot service. It is designed to offer assistance to medical practitioners through its integration with the Telegram messaging app. In essence, this Healthcare Chatbot helps doctors access information about drug prescription and dosage that deal with pregnant and breastfeeding women, and guide patients in terms of what measures they should take. SafeDrugBot is capable of searching through a vast database to find out detailed information on drug data and search queries based, for example, on the brand name of the drug in question.

Sensely

Sensely is a Healthcare Chatbot that enables patients to track their symptoms using both text-based and speech-based communication. When the patients explain their symptoms, Sensely matches the user input with the information being fed to its algorithm. Through that approach, Sensely analyzes the patient condition and recommends a suitable diagnosis. This particular Healthcare Chatbot has a speech recognition feature that understands both the words spoken to it and the context in which they were spoken, and responds accordingly. Sensely can also redirect the patient to a Doctor in cases of emergencies. Sensely also has the ability to be connected to via Bluetooth and users can also share images and videos with it.

Florence

Florence is a Healthcare chatbot that imitates the job of a nurse during a patient’s hospital stay. The chatbot is named after the founder of modern nursing, Mrs. Florence Nightingale. Florence is an automated messaging that acts as a personalized reminder to users to take pills, track body weight, log menstrual periods etc. Patients will have to provide data to Florence related to medication such as the name, timing, quantities etc. Florence also possesses additional features such as finding a doctor or a pharmacy and providing information on any medical issue.

In essence, a Healthcare Chatbot is not implemented with the goal of taking over patient care, or replacing a doctor’s expertise and supplanting him/her.

But chatbots and healthcare are now intertwined together to optimize the user experience, and add a significant value to your healthcare organization. 

In essence, chatbots in the Healthcare industry are bound to gain more influence as the AI tools that power them evolve more with time.