Chatbots in healthcare: How to use this tool in health sector

In 2022, healthcare is arguably the most important industry in existence. And patients need quick access to health information and medical facilities. And this is where technology like chatbots come into play to improve customer service for all patients.

The healthcare chatbot is quick and easy to ensure your clients have all the necessary information they need in the event of an emergency. With this tool, healthcare includes machine learning interfaces that can be used to reduce the work of care agents .

The use of chatbots in the health sector can close this gap. Chatbots are a key tool for processing user input and generating a response in real time. Chatbots provide human-like responses. Therefore, chatbot technology is revolutionizing healthcare.

Therefore, below you will learn about the benefits and use cases that can be given to this tool within the health sector. In this way, you will know the important impact it has on customer service. Let us begin!

But first, review the points that will be touched on in the article.

  1. 1) What are chatbots in healthcare industry?
  2. 2) Benefits of healthcare chatbots
  3. 3) Challenges chatbots can solve for better healthcare
  4. 4) Health chatbot use cases
    1. 4.1) Schedule appointments
    2. 4.2) Answer frequently asked questions
    3. 4.3) Sharing crucial health information
    4. 4.4) Set customer vaccination reminders
    5. 4.5) Triage and location of health care services
    6. 4.6) COVID-19 and other public health issues
    7. 4.7) Symptom evaluation
    8. 4.8) 24×7 customer service
    9. 4.9) Data collection and patient feedback
    10. 4.10) Provide medical information
    11. 4.11) Handle insurance inquiries
    12. 4.12) Handle queries related to payment

What are chatbots in healthcare industry?

What are chatbots in the healthcare industry?
Chatbots have an interactive and user-friendly interface; this helps create an engaging conversation with your patients.

Healthcare chatbots can deftly handle simple tasks so that customer support professionals can use their time to effectively manage more complex jobs that they have been trained to do.

The chatbots job is to ask simple questions, for example, have you been experiencing symptoms like fever, cold and body aches? Do you feel short of breath? How long have you been experiencing symptoms? etc.

By analyzing inputs given by users, the chatbot will provide solutions via text , such as getting enough rest, scheduling doctor appointments, or redirecting to emergency care.

Chatbots in healthcare are still in their infancy within the sector. However, they are expected to snowball by 2029. According to a report published by  Global Chatbots in Healthcare Market – Analysis and Forecast,  2019-2029, the medical chatbots market revenue is expected to grow at a rate of compound annual growth of 26.29% between 2019-2029.

Benefits of healthcare chatbots

The importance of chatbots in the healthcare sector has gained prominence as bots provide numerous benefits such as :

  • Reduction of waiting times:  Chatbots in the health system avoid long hospital queues by providing patients with instant answers without the need for them to go to the health center.
  • Massive reduction in support costs:  Chatbots help to significantly reduce business overhead for staffing the desk or call centers. All attention is 100% virtual.
  • Timely monitoring:  A healthcare chatbot can help monitor a patient’s health or give follow-up reminders for simple illnesses like the flu.
  • Real-time interaction:  A chatbot provides immediate answers and changes the response, depending on input, just like real-time interaction with a doctor.
  • Scalability:  Chatbots can seamlessly handle numerous clients without compromising quality or increasing cost.
  • Patient satisfaction:  A healthcare chatbot safely provides timely and intelligent solutions, which, in turn, increases patient satisfaction.

Challenges chatbots can solve for better healthcare

Technology has slowly flowed into almost every aspect of patient care, and healthcare chatbots show promise. They can easily address the challenges facing the healthcare sector , such as:

  • Healthcare bots can save valuable time. For example, your patients can communicate their symptoms on WhatsApp and get a live consultation without spending too much time booking appointments or visiting your facilities.
  • Chatbots can improve patient and doctor engagement. For example, medical chatbots can be helpful to your patients who may not be able to use complicated healthcare apps . Still, they can quickly and freely talk to the chatbot to discuss your health concerns.
  • Chatbot technology in healthcare is becoming increasingly realistic by using algorithms to detect emotions using natural language processing.

Additionally, image recognition is being used to process images, handwritten scripts, and QR barcodes . These features can give a fairly complete picture to the chatbot, allowing it to function more accurately.

Chatbots in healthcare are beneficial as they put everything in one place and offer a more seamless patient experience.

Health chatbot use cases

Chatbots in the health industry undoubtedly have great potential to transform the health sector in general , as they can help in the following tasks:

schedule appointments

A healthcare chatbot can easily help overcome the problem of managing appointments . Act as a conversational agent for your patients to schedule an appointment with the appropriate doctor at your facility.

Medical chatbots have an interactive and user-friendly interface; this helps to create an engaging conversation with your patients and ask them one detail at a time. On the other hand, with an OTP verification system, chatbots can ensure that only verified users schedule appointments at your facility.

78% of doctors  believe that a medical chatbot can be extremely helpful in booking your appointments. On the other hand, integrating a chatbot with the customer relationship management system can benefit you in easy appointment tracking.

Answer frequently asked questions

Incorporating an interactive medical chatbot on your website is a valuable method for your patients to quickly get medical information . Healthcare bots are capable of handling common queries such as:

  1. How should I take care of my condition?
  2. What documentation is required for treatment?
  3. What are the treatment payment rates?
  4. How much medical cost will the insurance cover?

Based on the format of common questions and answers, healthcare bots identify the most appropriate answer for your patient in seconds . You can use a chatbot based on frequently asked questions mainly on your website so that your patient can get a quick and direct answer.

Share crucial health information

Public health organizations can use a patient chatbot to circulate crucial health information about pandemics or vaccines. For example:

  1. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry created thousands of chatbots to help users during the pandemic. The WHO launched one to help keep misinformation at bay, quickly reaching  12 million people  in the first few months of its launch.
  2. Creating and updating chatbots with the latest scientific information for vaccines also helped effectively reduce vaccine hesitancy among people.

Set customer vaccination reminders

When someone is responsible for vaccinating the population, it is essential to ensure that the vaccines reach all the people in need. You may face difficulties distributing vaccines, communicating with citizens, and reporting and tracking your performance in this process.

With chatbots, users are no longer forced to jump through hoops to call or visit hospitals or check emails. Chatbot technology in healthcare can be beneficial as it puts everything in one place and offers a more seamless experience for the patient.

Users can easily schedule vaccination appointments with chatbots, saving your expensive human resources. In addition, they also receive reminders for your confirmed and follow-up vaccination appointments .

Triage and location of health care services

When people read about their symptoms online, it can be hard to understand if they need to go to an emergency room. An alternative to Google is triage chatbots .

Through triage chatbots, your patients can enter their symptoms, and the chatbot will ask several questions in an orderly manner.  Triage chatbots will not diagnose the condition or replace a doctor, but they will suggest possible diagnoses and the exact steps your patient should take.

76% of health professionals  believe that chatbots can help locate health clinics, as the main idea of ​​this chatbot is to help its users understand where to find help in case of an emergency .

COVID-19 and other public health issues

Currently, too much misinformation abounds on various common public health issues, such as COVID-19. Therefore, various institutions developed chatbot systems to ensure that people receive the correct information and help save patients’ lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , USA, had developed a healthcare chatbot named “ Clara ” specifically to share COVID-19 data, offer emotional support, and suggest medically appropriate behavior.

Bots are considered more useful for this puzzle as they keep your patients engaged 24×7.

Symptom assessment

Chatbot-based symptom checkers have been available as mobile apps for several years . This technology is hugely beneficial to your patients trying to understand the cause of their symptoms.

An example of a chatbot-powered symptom checker is “Symptoma”, which helps users get a step-by-step diagnosis of their problem when they enter symptoms. Such symptom checkers also impart health tips and related articles to your users.

24×7 customer service

Now more than ever, people are demanding a faster solution to their medical problems. Therefore, the healthcare industry is constantly faced with emergencies that need to be attended to by a doctor .

The bots in the healthcare system are seen as more useful for this puzzle as they keep your patients engaged 24×7 and provide quick assistance.

Data collection and patient feedback

An essential use of a hospital chatbot is to collect patient data. By positioning the chatbot, you can store and extract your patients’ information, such as :

  • Name.
  • Address.
  • Signs and symptoms.
  • Current doctor and therapy.
  • Insurance information.

Despite the promising future of chatbots in healthcare, adoption of this technology will still come down to what your patients experience and prefer.  Knowing what your patients think about your hospital’s doctors, treatment, and other services is the heartbeat that will pump change in your organization.

Through a simple conversational chatbot , feedback can help you understand patient behavior towards your services and help you improve accordingly.

Provide medical information

Care bots can seamlessly create a patient profile in the background by asking various questions such as :

  • Name.
  • Age.
  • Sex.
  • Address.
  • Symptoms.
  • Health problems.
  • current doctor.
  • Insurance details.

The patient chatbot then stores this information in your system, which can save doctors time in an emergency. You can also use this information to make appointments , facilitate patient admission, symptom tracking, doctor-patient communication, and medical record keeping.

Handle insurance inquiries

Medical chatbots provide your patients with an easy gateway to find the right information about insurance services.

A chatbot system integrated with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) or other automated solutions helps automate the processing of insurance claims and healthcare billing. Chatbots can provide:

  • An overview of available insurance solutions that fit the patient’s criteria.
  • Handle inquiries from policyholders.
  • Archive, process and manage notifications.
  • Create cross-sell opportunities.
  • Detect fraud.
  • Respond to insurance-related inquiries about coverage, premiums, deductibles, countries, etc.

 Handle payment-related queries

There are several payment tools available to balance the income related to the health system . However, handling payment-related queries can overload your support services and often leave questions unanswered.

Chatbots are flexible in that they can work much faster . In addition to this, medical chatbots can also handle payment related queries like:

  • Information about the last purchase.
  • Return policy.
  • Product recommendations.
  • Updating account information.
  • Nearest stores available to buy a medicine.

You have already learned everything about the use of chatbots for the health sector. The use cases that you have just seen will serve as a very practical guide to give the bots a better job within your health center.

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