The Healthcare sector is one of the biggest industries in the world with a shortage of staff. Last year in a study by researchers of CDDEP India reported a shortage of 60K doctors, 2 million nurses, and other healthcare professionals. And with the current COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has worsened.
Researchers and innovators have been working on the enablement of AI in the health care sector to help health care workers and the public. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the enablement of AI application to automate conversation in the form of Chatbot has accelerated exponentially and looks like it is here to stay.
With Conversational AI solutions working not just in the customer service sector but also acting as a therapist (Replica), it is no wonder that Market research firm Grand View Research estimates that the global chatbot market will reach $1.23 billion by 2025.
Let us look at 7 applications of Chatbots in the Healthcare sector:
1. Real-Time Healthcare Assistants
A study shows that 89% of people research Google before visiting the doctor.
Let us consider the example of Donna, a college student who has a fever, but she has a presentation in 2 days and does not have time to visit the doctor. She searches Google for her symptoms and treatment, then visits the nearest pharmacy to get her medicines. But is Google reliable for health-related search? According to NCBI, internet-based information is incomplete and not reliable regarding disease treatment.
What is the solution?
Now Consider an AI-powered Chatbot Dr. Sue, working with a hospital database and having an agent assist feature to take a doctor’s consultation in real-time. Your virtual doctor. It also has a feature where Donna can order her medication through the chat. Saving her a ton of time, and she also gets reliable information through her virtual doctor. All in real-time!
2. Well Being Assistant
Let us take the example of Donna again. She loves to workout every day and uses Fitbit to keep track of her sleep and workout; she uses google docs to keep track of her medical history. But she has to keep switching to different apps to keep track of her health records and her daily workouts.
Dr. Sue, the virtual health assistant. It helps you keep track of workout, sleep duration, and also send you reminders for meditation. Additionally, giving tips to be in your optimum health. Donna now uses Dr. Sue as her meditation guide, nutritionist, workout guide, and basically for her overall health.
Chatbots can revolutionize psychological treatments by helping teach coping skills like:
- Calming exercise
- Managing stress
- Positive thinking
- Socializing skills
- Keeping a tab on the patient
3. Doctor’s Appointment – with one message
Donna finally decides to go visit a doctor, but the clinic has scheduled her appointment on the day of her presentation. But when she calls the clinic, they leave her hanging because of the extensive list of people who are calling the clinic for their grievances.
Using a Chatbot over platforms like Messenger, WhatsApp, or the clinic’s website, anyone can schedule, manage appointments, freeing clinic staff to handle important work. Using a Chatbot can help remove redundant mundane conversations with patients for managing appointments, scheduling medical tests, sending guidelines to follow before tests, and sending out reminders to the doctor and patient regarding their appointment.
Forget to take medicine? Or missed your appointment?
Chatbots on our preferred messaging platform like WhatsApp could solve this problem, sending out reminders to take our medicine on time, sleep at the right time, or even helping us remember our doctor’s appointments.
Chatbots can even help to keep track of periods for our beloved protagonist, Donna. Giving her helpful tips to take care of herself by tracking her by asking her questions on period pains, emotional distress, birth control and gives helpful information on health and sexual issue.
Virtual assistants could revolutionize the medical representative’s life completely. Using a Chatbot they can send out the latest medicines information to a community of Doctors. Doctors can keep track of the latest practices and treatments through a chat medium.
6. Order Management
Remember Donna when she had to go out to buy her medicine? What was the problem in this situation?
- Waste of Time
- More Effort required from the customer’s end
She can do the same using Dr. Sue- her virtual health assistant. She can even search for her medicine using image processing and OCR. And keep track of her order. 97% of users like keeping track of their orders.
7. Customer Support
Donna is very fluent in English but her friend from Spain Elena is more comfortable with her native language and she is having difficulties communicating with the Clinic representative.
Dr. Sue, the virtual health assistant, can converse in 55+ languages across platforms like Website, Facebook Messenger, apps, and even WhatsApp.
Applications of Conversational AI solutions are infinite. It is only limited by our imagination. The attraction is obvious – quicker response time, a decrease in customer labor and cost, and easier access to data. According to statistics, the use of Chatbot can reduce operational costs by 30% in Customer Support.