“The advancement of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t really even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.”
This quote by Bill Gates on technological innovation is apt when you consider how AI-powered conversational chatbots are revolutionizing almost all sectors. They have impacted the healthcare industry as well. While scientists and doctors are pushing the boundaries of medicine, breakthroughs in technology like NLP (natural language processing) and ML (machine learning) are changing how patients and doctors communicate.
2020 was a rough year for the healthcare industry. Everyone is still in a rush to find solutions to cope with their medical crises in the pandemic. Researchers are now looking for AI-based solutions that can crawl through a large volume of data and provide meaningful insights. Today, patients need a platform that offers quick access to information and other medical facilities. Chatbots are one of the solutions that have the power to revolutionize the healthcare industry.
Introduction of Chatbots in the Healthcare Industry
The era of artificial intelligence has reached a point where we are not startled by the notion that AI doctors may soon replace general physicians in the healthcare industry. Though this change will not occur overnight, conversational chatbots are certainly going to bring revolutionary changes that no one ever thought of.
Chatbots are conversational bots backed by powerful AI and ML algorithms to carry out human-like conversations. They can substantially aid in automating tasks like disease identification, the accuracy of symptom detection, post-recovery care, booking an appointment, etc.
They play a significant role in the healthcare industry by automating time-consuming, monotonous, and tedious tasks that a physical representative would perform. They empower medical staff to divert their focus from menial tasks and take care of other crucial operations. Furthermore, patients nowadays prefer texting over calling, as texting gives them a quicker response. They do not have to wait in long queues to get their queries answered. Therefore, chatbots are an ideal fit for the modern-day medical environment.
How is the Healthcare Industry Leveraging Conversational AI Technology?
A survey reports that a patient spends around 30–60 minutes booking an appointment for the right specialist after reaching the clinic or hospital. An AI chatbot can save time by mapping the patient symptoms with the in-built stored data and directing them to the right specialist. Moreover, chatbots can suggest the measures a patient should take before visiting the doctor.
Patient satisfaction and a seamless experience are two crucial criteria a healthcare platform or service should satisfy. The following is a list of ways through which Conversational AI Chatbots can enhance the patient’s experience for the healthcare industry.
By offering continuous collaboration with patients, answering their queries in time, and booking appointments with ease, chatbots can significantly improve the patient’s experience and increase patient retention. Patients would prefer to engage with bots that facilitate the quick booking and take away the stress of standing in long queues or filling up paper-based forms.
Doctors do their best to provide you with the best treatment. However, not every clinic or hospital has specialists that are available 24/7. Doctors sometimes follow a tight schedule, and it becomes challenging for them to be available for all queries. Chatbots come to the rescue in such situations. These conversational bots are available 24/7. They can assist in various ways like sending notifications for your appointments, sharing links for healthcare guides, and even monitoring your heart rate, weight, or other parameters.
First-Level Primary Care
Most of us do not know what preliminary precautions we should take if we are diagnosed with COVID-19. The internet has given us tremendous power, but it has also led us to misleading or incorrect information. With the enormous amount of information available, it is confusing to discern genuine and reliable guidelines and resources. Taking the wrong medicine can lead to a medical emergency. Trusted hospital chatbots serve as a reliable way of providing first-level primary care.
Chatbots are portable assistants that provide healthcare assistance not only on desktop platforms but also on smartphones or tablets. Almost everyone carries a smartphone today and is comfortable with navigating web information on one. Chatbots on mobile messaging apps and web pages can thus assist patients in checking symptoms, booking appointments, providing relevant information, health reminders, etc., on the go.
Chatbots are a perfect combination of human assistance and AI technology that empowers the healthcare industry to operate seamlessly. Thanks to innovation and advancement in artificial intelligence technology, chatbots are evolving with each passing day and performing more complex tasks. Doctors are already excited about the prospects of chatbots, and so should patients.