Editor’s note: Alena shows 5 ways in which healthcare chatbots can gain competition in the healthcare industry and describes how to mitigate development and implementation risks. If you’re thinking of implementing a chatbot in your healthcare software, keep reading and exploring ScienceSoft’s development of medical applications offering for more details.
Today, patients need a convenient way to stay in touch with their caregivers at any time, and caregivers need ways to save time for their doctors and nurses, which is especially true. relevant in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chatbots can help both parties with their needs and increase overall quality and availability of care. In this article, I provide an overview of how medical chatbots can be used in the healthcare industry, mention some challenges that chatbots developers may face, and demonstrate that this seemingly risky investment is worth the effort.
As my practice shows, most healthcare organizations prefer to use chatbots to provide basic informational support to their patients. Accenture’s research confirms my observation by stating this 64% of care providers already use it chatbots. I think the main reason for its success is that this technology and functionality manage to offer comfort and time savings for both medical staff and patients. At any time, users can ask chatbots about a clinic address, phone numbers, visiting hours, and more. without disturbing the support staff and doing time-consuming searches on the patient portal.
The technology behind informational chatbots may seem relatively easy to use. However, as with any AI-based software, you may want to be mindful of how it works after launch and spot opportunities for improvement. To do this, you will need to configure quality metrics. For example, your employees responsible for patient involvement can measure user satisfaction by asking patients to leave feedback on chatbot performance or periodically checking chatbots in a random dialogue sample to improve technology.
Chatbot technology can make the appointment scheduling process as fast and convenient as possible for patients. To make an appointment with a doctor, patients select the dates and time slots available with the bot and confirm their choice. Patients can make an appointment with an available doctor just when the first symptoms appear. As for healthcare organizations, using chatbots for programming can reduce staff workload and eliminate the possibility of “overbooking” by human error.
You need to make sure that your chatbot can be easily integrated with HIS (Hospital Information System) or PM (Practice Management System) of healthcare providers so that the chatbot has access to the calendar with scheduling and logging.
Business Insider Intelligence estimates that AI can automate up to 73% of administrative and symptom checking tasks and the adoption of chatbots can save the healthcare industry about $ 11 billion annually by 2023. Chatbots can make that big difference by gathering information from chatbots. patients, such as name, address, insurance details, and symptoms. A symptom verification chatbot can help medical staff monitor patients ’condition and perform diagnostic procedures, while gathering patient personal information can facilitate, for example, patient admission activities.
As a result, by helping with symptom checking and administrative tasks, healthcare chatbots reduce the average time a patient visits and allow for preliminary symptom checking remotely, while relieving doctors and nurses. of these tasks and increase patient satisfaction.
To make the patient information collected available to a physician, a chatbot must be integrated with the EHR of a healthcare organization, where the chatbot sends this data. To protect patient information, you must provide high-level cybersecurity for your chatbot. At ScienceSoft, we encourage our customers to use security measures before launching the chatbot (data anonymity, when possible, data encryption, user authentication mechanisms, etc.) and perform a regular vulnerability and testing assessment. chatbot system penetration after launch.
My professional experience shows that chatbots help patients manage their own care and increase their involvement in the treatment process. Chatbots can become a personal nurse for patients by reminding them to take medication, monitoring their diet, or even offering a brief consultation about their symptoms when integrated with a medical database. In addition, if a chatbot is connected to a portable device, it can use the information collected to advise patients on certain actions or to notify a physician in the event of an emergency. For example, if a health chatbot is integrated with a portable glucometer, it can automatically suggest a user inject an insulin or call a doctor if an abnormal blood sugar level is detected. It frees up resources from health care providers and speeds up the process of getting medical help.
I understand that you may feel cautious with the development of the healthcare chatbot and think about a possible malfunction of the chatbot when you provide medical care to patients. Not surprisingly, even some cases of irrelevant behavior of a chatbot can lead to a reduction in the quality of care and damage to the health of patients. To prevent this from happening, we recommend resorting to the risk-based approach. All the actions that a chatbot can perform are divided into two types: low-risk actions and high-risk actions. The provision of medical care should be considered as a high-risk task that can only be performed after verification by a human. In comparison, tasks such as providing information support or scheduling electronic visits can be considered highly certainty and can be performed without any human.
Chatbots can become a feature of a telehealth app and be used for remote recipe filling and renewal (it is especially useful for patients with chronic illnesses). To refill a prescription, a patient types a quick request in a chat window. After confirming the personal data (name, social security number, birthday, etc.) and a prescription number, the chatbot sends a top-up request to a doctor, who makes the final decision and notifies the patient when it is ready. . If it appears that no more spare parts are available or the prescription has expired, the chatbot asks the patient to choose the time for an electronic visit to renew the prescription.
As for doctors, they can use chatbots built into the EHR system to ensure the compatibility of prescribed medications with other medications that patients take, the dose for the particular patient, possible alternatives to drugs, and so on.
No wonder you can doubt the safety of the chatbot to offer guidance on prescribed medications and refilling or renewing prescriptions. At ScienceSoft, we understand that mistakes are costly in the healthcare industry, so we recommend opting for iterative development. Thus, after the first iteration, a chatbot can give patients the opportunity to leave renewal requests only. In future iterations, the scope of operations can be expanded after the necessary chatbot training. And this process continues until the chatbot is reliable enough to use it for the entire process of reloading / renewing recipes remotely and get all the requested features.
I think chatbot technology has great potential and is an integral part of the effective healthcare industry. However, the development and implementation of health chatbots can be a complicated task that requires experience in various technological aspects, such as artificial intelligence and natural language processing, in particular cybersecurity, and so on. Therefore, if you plan to develop a medical chatbot and seek competent assistance, the ScienceSoft healthcare IT team will be delighted. to help you.
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