The Potential of Chatbots in Healthcare

As the digital age marches onward and upward, so do the issues that plague the modern
healthcare industry. Costs are on the rise with the advancement of medical technology,
including pharmaceuticals, the price of which increases commensurately with the cost to deliver
such options. Huge amounts of money are being spent to develop digital solutions that improve
workflow and assist consumers, but without prioritising the need for these solutions to work in
concert, disparate systems often do more harm than good.

There is a solution, however, and it’s one that is already seeing major benefits in industries
around the world. Chatbots, automated AI programs that employ machine learning to react to
user input, have the potential to revolutionize the healthcare sector in several meaningful ways.
Chatbots are currently being put to use largely in the realm of consumer interaction. Non-
healthcare industries like retail and financial institutions commonly set the bar for customer
expectations. As such, engagement with consumers (or patients, in the case of the healthcare
sector) is an important aspect of aiding not only the problem of rising costs, but improving the
relationship between patient and provider. These chatbot use cases have seen much success
by offering meaningful interactions for consumers. Furthermore, the barrier to entry is shrinking
with the advent of bot-building platforms that require little to no coding, such as SnatchBot.

This instant, personalized approach is being called “conversational healthcare,” and is quickly
replacing applications that provide information without interoperability. Conversational
healthcare provides a two-way interaction based on text or voice input, and draws context from
the conversation to meet a user’s needs.
In addition to these early successes, the ability of bots goes far beyond just patient interaction.
An intelligent chatbot can schedule appointments and consultation; track patient care to reduce
readmissions; reduce the process and improve the accuracy of symptom collection; and much,
much more.

Here are just a few of the ways in which the capabilities of modern bots are the digital
prescription for modern healthcare. Bots can…
 Send alerts and notifications for prescription refills and care guidelines.
 Streamline admission, discharge and transfer requests.
 Alert care teams of urgent changes in patients and emergencies.
 Send and receive referrals.
 Update record systems with patients’ medical history.
 Signal hospital staff if patient needs assistance.
 Allow the exchange of data from currently disparate health systems.
 Automate data entry to significantly reduce error and avoid double entry.

Chatbots for healthcare is an awesome solution: They are particularly adept at automating tasks and improving accuracy; in the healthcare
sector, this translates to reducing the process and human error involved in such procedures as
patient admissions, ailment identification, preventative care, and post-recovery care support.
Healthcare providers are already discovering that employing bots into their digital strategies is
empowering their patients, caregivers, and staff, as well as offering solutions that seamlessly
blend the processes formerly muddled by disparate systems that lack interoperability. By
streamlining the overall experience in real time, consumers become better informed and the
patient/provider relationship becomes proactive, rather than reactive—which can ultimately lead
to generally improved health, welfare, and awareness.