How Chatbots and AI Improve the Lives of Doctors and Patients
The introduction of chatbots and artificial intelligence is nothing new, in fact, the usage of this technology is steadily growing in both scope and effectiveness. As the implementation of AI spans across multiple industries, from banking to retail, the power of these programs is positively disrupting the way both employees work and the experience consumers gain. Specifically, in the arena of chatbots, this technology has provided new avenues for communication, customer satisfaction, time-saving, and more. Chatbots, while still in the early years of understanding their true potential, has been a bright spot in bringing 21st-century solutions to modern-day trends.
When looking at chatbots in healthcare, their value is two-fold: both doctors and patients benefit. A common sticking point with healthcare is physician workload and responsive patient care. This issue is nothing new, as medicine has always been plagued with juggling fewer doctors than ill people. While discovering the golden ratio between physician workload and patient care has not been solved with chatbots, it has improved in an impactful way — seen on both sides of the equation.
Practical Ways Chatbots Are Improving Healthcare
Today, many Americans still struggle to find healthcare or lack nearby resources in their geographic region. However, many of these same individuals and families have access to high-speed internet and smart devices (cellphones, tablets, computers). By interweaving chatbots into the healthcare industry, a new segment of patient populations are being exposed to resources that they may currently lack. Additionally, chatbots help to reduce the barrier to entry by providing proactive information to visitors.
*Visitor on a clinic’s homepage*
Chatbot: Good afternoon! How can I assist you today?
Chatbot: Do you need to schedule an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible?
Chatbot: Cold and flu season is approaching. Are you curious about the closest place where you receive a flu shot?
This is just one example of how question probing is a productive way of engaging and helping patients avoid becoming lost on a healthcare website. Ultimately, chatbots are doing two things to improve the lives of doctors and patients. First, by reducing the patient load for physicians by fielding medical queries, providing basic medical advice (or scheduling a visit with a doctor if necessary), asking about symptoms, giving nutritional advice, and more. Secondly, patients expect speedy response times from caregivers. Chatbots are enabling patients to receive faster care, in addition to helping organize specific needs such as setting an appointment or finding a nearby pharmacy to receive a prescription.
Specific Examples of the Impact of Chatbots
The beauty of chatbots is their customization. The AI technology can be catered to any specific sector of healthcare, and further zeroed into any specific set of tasks. Chatbot technology capitalizes on its versatility, and in doing so, helps serve a variety of functions for physicians and patients.
Using advanced natural language processing (NLP), chatbots are able to act on behalf of physicians in areas of postnatal care, specifically regarding breastfeeding. A current chatbot under the name of SafedrugBot, offers messaging services to new mothers with proper dosing, drug side effects, and helps the corresponding physician monitor the progress of the mother.
Florence is another chatbot that has increasingly grown in popularity in recent years. Named after the mother of modern-day nursing, Florence Nightingale, this chatbot serves as an everyday nurse to patients — providing medication reminders, tracking weight, menstrual periods, moods, and also helping locate local doctors and pharmacies.
Nutrition is a large part of daily life that Americans seek professional medical help in understanding and managing. Forksy is a healthcare chatbot that assists in tracking calories and suggesting positive eating habits. Chatbots like these can not only help patients manage their food intake, but also physicians who can help cut down on necessary patient visits.
Self-diagnosis is another area in healthcare that chatbots are benefiting. People are notorious for scouring the internet for information regarding their symptoms and then diagnosing themselves without the opinion or examination of a trained physician. Chatbots like Buoy Health are here to help minimize misinformation and inaccurate self-diagnosis by taking note of symptoms, answering queries, and matching that information against a medical database. Based on the results, the chatbot is programmed to offer the appropriate advice.
CancerChatbot and Woebot are two of the most forward-thinking medical advancements in regards to AI. These two chatbots address heavy medical issues plaguing many individuals and families in today’s healthcare environment — cancer and mental health. A cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of question marks, and CancerChatbot was created to act as an information liaison between physician and patient. The technology is designed to give cancer patients verified, accurate information regarding their specific diagnosis. Woebot builds upon the NLP technology and helps patients suffering from anxiety and depression by listening to the struggles of the patient and using cognitive-behavioral therapy to suggest remedies as a therapist. This idea is centered around the research that people may feel more comfortable speaking with a chatbot, rather than a real human.
Conclusion: Why Chatbots Have a High Ceiling in Healthcare
In the overall scope of healthcare, chatbot technology covers a minuscule amount of tasks and needs. However, with this first generation of AI technology, problems have been identified and improved. From helping patients schedule remote consultations with doctors to disseminating accurate information to healthcare consumers — the potential for chatbots cannot be ignored.
Both physicians and patients have benefited from these AI-driven conversationalists, and while they do not solve all the problems that currently exist in the eyes of both parties, chatbots have carved a new road to explore in the quest of bettering healthcare experiences
QliqSOFT Can Answer Your Chatbot Questions
QlipSOFT’s platform and chabot, Quincy, provides organizations and healthcare providers a secure, user-friendly application that goes beyond HIPAA complaint minimum standards. In doing so, we have developed a software program that is designed to improve your security practices while also enhancing your group’s communication habits and efficiency.
Contact us today at (866) 295-0451 about a free demo, or how to start implementing our technology at your health company!