Artificial Intelligence is revolutionizing the way we conduct our day to day activities. Their speed and accuracy bring along a host of benefits with minimal challenges. Their steep advancement has impacted almost every field and the healthcare sector is witnessing a significant benefit from it.
Healthcare has been one of the most lucrative industries over the decades and chatbots are one of the efficient ways to deliver a hassle-free experience to the consumer. This article is a sincere attempt to explore everything about Chatbots in the healthcare set up. We will also take a look at advantages and challenges that are inevitable with Chatbots
Role of Chatbots in the Healthcare industry
In this era of hyper-connectivity via the Internet, we all have landed upon customer care chat systems, which are implemented by a number of websites these days. Chatbots are essentially the same, with the only difference that they are powered by Artificial Intelligence and require human intervention only at the escalation level where it is indeed needed.
In a time-sensitive industry, where an hour delay can be troublesome for the patient, chatbots assist the help seeker in many ways. From gathering data and booking telemedicine consultation to showing the right forum for a particular type of questions and addressing misunderstandings, healthcare chatbots have come as a boon for providing a hassle-free experience.
In a world where the pandemic will always be looming over with nth number of waves, delivering real-time information would be crucial about availability of beds, oxygen cylinders, and medicines to the aid seekers and Chatbots can be deployed to deliver such information speedily.
Advantages of Chatbot in Healthcare
The balanced amalgamation of AI, Natural Language Processing and machine learning are prerequisites for creating an efficient chatbot that can cater to varying needs in the healthcare industry.
Anonymity, personalization, and real time interaction are some of the traits that are desired in the customer care chat service especially in the healthcare industry. Chatbots tick all of those requirements.
When it comes to handling common questions without needing a human intervention, they rarely is a substitute for a trained chatbot. According to Juniper Research, chatbots in healthcare and banking will save nearly $8 billion by 2022, up from $20 million from 2017.
HealthCare Chatbots Applications
There are upteen numbers of ways that chatbots can help the users.
A large data set is incorporated to impart the relevant answer to the chatbot user. The data set is usually related to diseases, their symptoms and preventive ways and counter methods.
Now there is no need to visit the hospital and book an appointment. By integrating the chatbot into the medical facility system, patients can opt for appointments with their desired physician. The bot can provide information such as doctors of current shifts, availability of certain physicians, scheduling and rescheduling fees, and the option of appointment deletion also.
Chatbots can be extremely efficient in collecting relevant data such as a patient’s name, address, symptoms, symptom tracking, doctor-patient communication, and medical record keeping.
For insurance enquiries
Billing and providing data for insurance formalities are often time-consuming. When chatbots are merged with Robotic Process Automation, the process can be faster without needing up and down travel.
Depressed and PTSD and anxiety patients can receive cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) by trained chatbots. They can even help the austic patients for their social and job interview skills. The chatbots have the ability to pick up user input from camera, text as well as microphones.
For training of employees
Employees who need to re-visit laid down instructions for their training can take the help of Chabot instead of a human instructor. They are also quasi-perfect for onboarding the employees.
For prescription refills
Prescription refills are common for patients with chronic problems. For the batch process of prescription refills, doctors can take the help of the chatbots which will take the case number and relevant details of the patient.
Future of ChatBots in HealthCare System
A Chatbot can be trained to provide assistance to the mental health of the patient. Nearly 450 million have mental health problems today according to WHO. Combining emotional intelligence and artificial intelligence, the bot can provide comforting thoughts until a human specialist can take on the consultation. The bot can also be trained to identify the sentences and thought process that are precursor to suicide and self-damaging acts. Upon identifying such behaviour, it can let the relevant authorities know beforehand and prevent a misfortune.
Automating small business tasks
Healthcare industries are looking to cut costs in their non-risky administration work by training the chatbots. Business executives are looking to automate the routine paperwork, scheduling, timesheet entry, accounting by 82, 79, 78, and 69% respectively.
Patient’s Personal Assistant
Chatbots are likely to be used as a nurse who can track the patient’s well being, vital parameters, and can then transfer the notes in a summarized report to the doctor for clinical evaluation.
Do Chatbots reduce overhead expenses?
In a way, Yes! Imagine having to hire a dozen of customer care representatives in order to answer the commonly asked questions or FAQs. A single chatbot can not only handle thousands of concurrent queries but also do not come with recurring charges usually and there is little maintenance that is required by them.
Chatbots can tackle the time-zone problem by being active 24* 7. This allows brands to form a lasting impression of 100% availability and quick responses.
Disadvantages of Chatbots in Healthcare
Chatbots are not functionality-perfect always. There are certain challenges with them as specified below.
Lack of Human interaction
No matter how fast the automation is, robotic conversation can never match the immersive experience of human interaction. A human can always hop on different segments of information to provide quick responses that better facilitates the patient in an overall manner.
Lack of empathy, and natural emotions
Portraying empathy in the healthcare system helps the patient to feel better and be more compliant to the processes. In fact, empathy is the crucial component of communication that is often needed with someone concerned with their health.
Unable to handle exceptions
If developed by experienced developers, the bot will be able to produce a more natural response in case of exception data input. Absent of proper exception handling can be frustrating for the user.
Cost of Healthcare Chatbot Development
The cost of development depends on the no. of functionalities and their complexity. Platform, features and structure all come into play in order to estimate the development cost for such an app. You can get a detailed estimate by getting in touch with a chatbot development company
Healthcare is one of the top five industries to derive benefit from including the chatbot. And they are also expected to have a market size of nearly 314.3 million by 2023 from USD 122.0 million by 2018. By incorporating more and more human simulation, they can guide the user from a point A to point B. They also allow the user to ask the same question over and over without feeling hesitant. As can be seen from this article, their pros outweigh the challenges significantly.