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What is Conversational AI and How is it Transforming Healthcare?

Brittanie Pervier
August 19, 2021

Over the past several years, healthcare organizations have been challenged with a new set of obstacles. Today professionals within the healthcare industry have been dealing with a limited talent pool, a pandemic, increased safety restrictions, and an increased workload. Leaders in the healthcare industry have been searching for solutions and ways they can improve patient experiences. Conversational AI has quickly become a popular solution due to its ability to provide a variety of benefits for both patients and providers. 

Defining Conversational AI and its Key Components


Conversational artificial intelligence is a technology used in automated messaging to create more human-like conversations between people and computers. Conversational AI uses both natural language processing and machine learning to interpret input. This process enables the AI to better understand and imitate human interactions. Conversational AI was designed to deliver seamless communication that is indistinguishable from humans, improving the user experience. 


Conversational AI uses two different components to create more human-like conversations between artificial intelligence and people. Natural language processing or NLP analyzes input using natural language understanding (NLU). Then, natural language generation (NLG) generates a response. 


The second component is machine learning. This process is also called reinforced learning and is the component that improves responses over time. The application analyzes corrections and uses them to create better, more conversational responses moving forward. 


These components enhance user experiences and have caused conversational AI to grow in popularity across various industries. Although conversational AI is gaining widespread traction, it has recently had a significant impact on the healthcare industry due to its ability to provide a range of valuable benefits for both providers and patients. 


The Benefits of Conversational AI for Healthcare


Enhancing Patient Experiencing 


Today the power of chatbots equipped with conversational AI can significantly improve patient experiences by enhancing communication between patients and their care teams. Conversational AI enables chatbots to provide more detailed and personalized communication. The details collected by the chatbots can help providers better assist their patients. There are a wide variety of chatbot solutions that can be equipped with conversational AI that improve everyday patient experiences including,


  • Symptom checkers
  • Interactive appointment reminders
  • Program enrollment 
  • Post-visit surveys
  • Automated-medication follow-ups 


Reducing the Workload of Today's Providers


Today's healthcare professionals have increasingly heavy workloads. In 2019 a study by the World Health Organization estimated a global shortage of 4.3 million healthcare care professionals (1). The current talent gap increases the workload of those who work in this field. 


The spread of the Coronavirus has intensified the issue. Hospitals around the world have at times been overwhelmed and short-staffed when case numbers peak. A recent survey of healthcare professionals found that 84% reported feeling mildly burnt out and another 18% felt completely burnt out (2)


Conversational AI is helping to lighten the workload and close some of these gaps by streamlining communication between patients and providers. Conversational AI makes it easier for patients to share more detailed information securely. They can freely text to respond to questions, much like they would in a normal conversation. Providers can use this information to better assist patients. 


Increasing ROI


Conversational AI can also increase the revenue of organizations in the healthcare space. It was recently predicted that by adopting AI applications, the US healthcare industry could save up to $150 billion a year by 2026 (3). There is a rather large opportunity to drive down costs when it comes to providing customer service and after-hours care. Conversational AI can help organizations increase patient access to guidance and critical information 24 hours a day without increasing their current workforce. Chatbots don't get tired or take sick days. They also reduce the risk of human error. 


Quincy, the Healthcare Chatbot, Uses Conversational AI to Drive Patient Engagement


QliqSOFT'S cloud-based digital platform is designed to adapt to the industry's most complex patient needs. Our healthcare chatbot Quincy is equipped with conversational AI and can be customized to meet your organization's unique needs. Learn how using Quincy the healthcare chatbot helped Coryell Health safely share hundreds of test results with patients during the pandemic resulting in a $78,000 annual ROI. Read the case study Coryell Health. 


The Author
Brittanie Pervier

Brittanie is a passionate marketing specialist and content creator from Washington state. She has a background in both education and healthcare. Brittanie enjoys researching, crafting, and sharing stories that highlight how modern technology is transforming the healthcare industry.

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