How Chatbots Are Changing Communication In Healthcare

Technology has made its way to the healthcare industry in many ways over the past few years. A few recent articles sparked my interest in one tool in particular: chatbots. According to Health IT News, chatbots are making a huge plunge in the healthcare industry, and for good reason.

“Chatbots and virtual health assistants may be coming to a hospital near you. As providers look to better engage patients and improve efficiency, many are turning to artificial intelligence to help them succeed.” Healthcare Dive reports.

Chatbots Create Communication

Doctors are turning to chatbots in order to assist in patient outreach. As many healthcare professionals know, communicating with patients can be challenging. Artificial intelligence and technology have pushed digital health initiatives to solve this problem among the sector.

The type of communication that chatbots can help with includes anything from triage to administrative purposes like scheduling appointments. For example, patients are able to speak into chatbots in order to express symptoms, in order to come to a solution for care. This new technology puts patients at the forefront of their own care and allows patient experiences to be as heightened as possible.

Healthcare IT discusses one doctor, in particular, Brett Swenson, who used chatbots specifically to help patients receive flu shots.

“A key example of when his practice used this function was its annual flu initiative. During flu season the practice typically sent out pamphlets and emails to remind patients to get their shots.” Health IT reports.

Chatbot Market In Healthcare

The chatbot market in healthcare is steep. It contains two different bots that produce two different tasks. One bot focuses solely on patient engagement through conversations and other bots focus more on the personalized health assistant side of things.

Healthcare Dive put together a list that exposes examples of current health assistants.

  • Florence acts as a virtual nurse helping patients with medication adherence and maintaining healthcare regimens. It also can help locate specialists and schedule appointments.
  • Eva helps women track their menstrual cycles and pregnancies.
  • Molly — an avatar-based virtual nurse assistant — connects patients with clinical advice to assess their condition and suggest appropriate followup.
  • HealthTap allows people to chat with a doctor and send pictures and copies of lab results to see if a problem requires additional care.
  • Your.MD asks users about symptoms and offers medically approved potential conditions and then makes referrals and schedules appointments.
  • Ada is an AI-powered technology, asking people how they’re feeling and guiding them on next steps.

Taken from Healthcare Dive.

These chatbots give healthcare professionals the chance to interactively communicate with patients, and increase patient engagement, which, is music to most professional’s ears. Chatbots also help ease the workload of doctors in a significant way, by performing basic administrative tasks.

ABOUT DIGITAL HEALTHCARE TRANSFORMATION

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The future of healthcare is digital. With the FDA providing clarity with the launch of new regulations regarding digital technology in 2018, developers and healthcare industry stakeholders alike are working to transform the patient experience.

The healthcare landscape is changing. The on-demand patient increasingly favors digital technology and platforms. According to Pew Research, a third of Americas have gone online and searched symptoms, in an attempt to diagnose a medical condition.

The US healthcare industry is unique, as it markets direct-to-consumer or direct-to-patient. Digital marketing technology is enabling healthcare marketers to talk directly to consumers in a new, more engaging way.

The Millennium Alliance is pleased to announce our bi-annual Digital Healthcare Transformation Assembly will be taking place June 11-12, 2019.

Are you a Digital Healthcare executive interested in attending this event? Enquire here today to find out if you qualify for Millennium Membership >>

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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!

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