Introduction to Chatbots
A chatbot (also known as a chatterbot) can be described as a software application that is used for carrying out several online chats/conversations either through text or even text-to-speech. This software is used in lieu of offering a direct interaction option with an actual human agent. A chatbot is an advanced software that enriches the customer experience by automating chats/conversations and interacting with them via messaging platforms. These are developed to convincingly work in a way that a human would, imitating the latter’s behavior and mannerisms during a conversation. Chatbot systems generally need to be continuously tuned and tested while a few in production are unable to converse in an adequate manner.
Chatbots have critical uses in dialog systems for numerous purposes such as request routing, information gathering, or customer service. While a few chatbot applications make use of extensive natural-language processors, sophisticated AI, and word-classification processes, other apps simply check for basic keywords and respond utilizing common phrases sourced from an associated database or library.
The majority of the chatbots are used online using website popups or via virtual assistants. They can be segmented into certain usage categories such as healthcare, e-commerce, entertainment, education, health, finance, productivity, and news.
This Brings us to Chatbots’ Role in Healthcare?
Healthcare is, without a doubt, one of the most important sectors out there, with a rising number of patients seeking quick access to medical facilities and health information. AI in the healthcare industry helps ensure that every customer has access to all the necessary information they require during an emergency. AI in healthcare covers Machine Learning interfaces that bring down the need for human labor to easily analyze, access, and offer healthcare professionals a host of potential diagnoses in just a few seconds.
Chatbots can potentially revolutionize the entire healthcare sector and have managed to do most of it in the past couple of years. They considerably bolster the efficiency and enhance the accuracy level of ailment identification and symptom detection, post-recovery care, feedback procedures and preventive care. Healthcare chatbots are expected to bring about this transformation in healthcare, in just a few years.
It’s an Upward Growth Trajectory for Chatbots in Healthcare
Computer programs that use textual conversational features are gaining high traction among healthcare organizations/institutions. Latest reports reveal that the healthcare chatbots market in 2020 touched around USD 40.5 million. These intelligent, advanced programs identify symptoms, help in chronic health conditions and also manage medications. They guide patients in every way, allowing them to schedule appointments with medical professionals. With the rise in technological advances in chatbots, their use in the healthcare sector has risen at an impressive pace.
Highly reputed healthcare companies such as Pfizer, Mayo Clinic, the UK NHS, and others are making extensive use of healthcare chatbots to cater to the burgeoning demands of patients.
Let’s Delve Deeper into the Main Advantages of Healthcare Chatbots
Rapport Building with Patients and Offer Assistance
In the case of a patient trying to find out the symptoms on a website but not knowing where to get the solution from and booking an appointment, there is a high possibility of them leaving the website.
There is where a healthcare chatbot will work its charm. While the patient is on the website, the chatbot warmly greets them and guides through the symptoms, predicting possible diagnoses. They also offer them the option of directly booking an appointment.
Chatbots also gain user information by a series of questions, storing them different forms of reference, which helps personalize and improve the patient’s experience. This way healthcare chatbots are able to build a great rapport with the patients.
Instant Access to Critical Information
The healthcare sector goes hand in hand with emergencies, with time playing a significant role in addressing them.
Healthcare chatbots offer useful information without wasting any time, particularly in those times when every second is crucial. For instance, in case a patient comes in with an attack, the medical professional can access their information instantly, including previous records, check-ups, allergies, other diseases, etc., through the bot.
Around the Clock Availability
Doctors’ job is absolutely vital and are required to give their best in every situation, irrespective of the time. They need to dedicate a lot of attention to every patient. However, the issue is that doctors almost all the time are deal with a tight schedule, which makes it tough to be there for every patient.
Healthcare chatbots can be used 24/7, with their ability to be available personally for the patient throughout their recovery. While it is the doctors’ job to save lives, healthcare chatbot assist in tasks like reminding the patient about their medicines, offer medical information, give tips, and monitor the patient’s well-being.
Where will Healthcare Chatbots Stand in the Coming Years?
The rise in healthcare cost savings following the adoption of healthcare chatbots worldwide will be a compelling reason for the exponential demand in the ensuing years. Additionally, the increasing internet connectivity as well as smart device adoption rate will also augment the use of healthcare chatbots.