In light of the pandemic, healthcare centers around the world have recently implemented new ways to serve an overwhelming influx of patients. Today, we are all used to immediate access to information — we want answers fast.
Unfortunately, it can be hard for even the most experienced teams of healthcare professionals to provide quick and effective care to everyone if their hospital or clinic is overcrowded.
In the US, healthcare providers across the country have begun to implement new ways to engage patients. Digital technology helps our healthcare teams ensure that those in serious need of medical help are the ones that receive the attention they need. One such innovation is the introduction of chatbot AI. But how can chatbots help? Are they here to replace medical professionals? Most importantly, do they really help patients and healthcare workers like they’re meant to?
Chatbots in Healthcare
Chatbots are AI systems that provide two-way interactions via text or voice input. They are designed with intricate conversation maps and can provide answers to patients by drawing context from their responses. Healthcare systems can also give chatbots access to various systems in order to securely provide and obtain more complex information. In short, implementing a chatbot on your healthcare website can help give patients the information they need before they step into a hospital or clinic.
So is AI finally here to take away your job? No! There is simply no way that AI can give the same level of medical expertise that a healthcare worker can — nor is AI meant to. However, chatbots have proven to make patient care an easier, more manageable process. When implemented on healthcare websites, chatbots can provide answers for a variety of patient concerns, from CDC and WHO approved guidelines to solutions for handling minor or non-life-threatening symptoms. Chatbots don’t just cater to patients, either. Healthcare workers can also utilize chatbots to gain faster access to health records and data repositories.
These solutions enable chatbots to only funnel patients who require face-to-face medical attention to their local healthcare center. In turn, healthcare workers can operate under a less crowded environment and patients in true need of help can get it immediately.
Healthcare Use Cases
Here are just a few of the many functions chatbots can serve:
- Providing patients answers to FAQs
- Helping patients navigate through healthcare websites
- Scheduling consultations and appointments
- Sending email alerts or SMS notifications for appointment reminders or prescription refills
- Tracking patient care
- Streamlining requests for transfer or discharge
- Sending and receiving referrals
- Updating patient medical history
- Allowing and streamlining data exchange between health systems
- Automated data entry
Today’s Leading Chatbots in Healthcare
Chatbots are incredible resources for preliminary communication. However, it’s important to keep in mind that they can only answer fundamental questions. If your hospital is considering implementing a chatbot, remember that only your team can provide patients with actionable steps to facilitate their treatment.
With this in mind, there are plenty of excellent examples of chatbots that can help patients and healthcare workers alike. Here are a few dependable chatbots that are growing in popularity today:
Patients can use Sensley to report their symptoms. If Sensley determines that symptoms are manageable from home, it will provide the user with self-care advice. Alternatively, if symptoms require professional help, Sensley will send a referral to local healthcare service. Users love Sensley because they can describe their symptoms over speech or text. Sensley also connects to Bluetooth-enabled healthcare tools, like scales or blood pressure monitors, making it a valuable tool for medical practitioners.
Ada helps give patients possible diagnoses after they tell they are given a patient’s symptoms. If symptoms are severe, Ada will then assist in booking an appointment. Users love Ada for its accuracy and its streamlined interface.
This chatbot was created to provide helpful information to improve the lives of those who are fighting cancer. OneRemission helps both patients and survivors by providing them with several tools, including healthy diets, safe exercises, and other practices. The OneRemission chatbot is curated by experts in integrative medicine, so users can confidently rely on the knowledge it provides. Should users require in-person help, OneRemission also helps them consult with an online oncologist.
Woebot is a chatbot that monitors your mental health, and curates personalized conversations in an effort to improve your mood. Woebot implements cognitive-behavioral psychology in order to help users reframe their mindset and find happiness in their day-to-day. Woebot features meditative exercises, emotional journals, and other helpful apps.
SafeDrugBot was created in response to a doctor who asked the developer for an easier way to retrieve information about drugs to which breastfeeding mothers might be exposed. As you might have already guessed, SafeDrugBot does just that! The chatbot serves as a messaging service that provides support to health practitioners who need quick access to data about medications that mothers can use during breastfeeding. SafeDrugbot delivers a full profile of each drug in its library, citing which medications are safe, and in which dosages they should be used.
Florence works as a personal nurse, which users can use on Facebook Messenger, Kik, or Skype. Send Florence the name of your prescribed medication, the number of times a day you need it, and the time at which you need to take it, and Florence will send you a reminder for each time you must take a dose. In addition, Florence can track your mood and bodyweight to help users attain personal goals. Florence can also find the nearest clinic or pharmacy if you need one.
Chatbots are useful tools that more and more healthcare systems are using each day — but they’re no replacement for a certified healthcare worker! In their time of true need, it will be up to you to use your learnings to improve, and even save your patient’s lives. ProMed provides those learnings. Head onto our homepage to learn more about our ACLS, PALS, BLS, and CPR courses.