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How Chatbots Are Transforming the Healthcare Industry?

Last time, we reviewed the use of chatbots in e-learning and some of their examples in real life. This week’s blog will bring you to the potential applications of chatbots in healthcare and their benefits towards it.
With the emergence of COVID-19 and the social distancing that accompanies, many healthcare centers have applied automation to ease the burden on medical providers. One noticeable implementation is chatbots, which soon rise to the spotlight. What are the reasons behind this popularity? How can chatbots be used in different sections of the medical service? Read further to discover more.
Benefits of chatbots in healthcare

1. Availability

When it comes to health, speed and availability are crucial. Nobody wants to wait in a long queue or have to make several calls to get advice. Chatbots offer 24/7 support assistance that can help deal with overloaded messages or calls. They can serve several patients at the same time. This is particularly essential in today’s pandemic situation where there is surges in demand and shortages of human agents.
Not only do medical chatbots provide immediate assistance, but they are also always available, whether a late night or Sunday morning. This accessibility helps lighten the caseloads, so that doctors can focus more on the severe which needs their attention the most.

2. Automation

AI-powered chatbots can automate daily tasks such as making appointments or sending reminders. They can give very specific and relevant information about the prescription medicine to the patients. Just tell the bot the drug name, they can provide you the details and save the medication for a better treatment pathway.
To some simple medical issues, for example a headache or a mild fever, chatbots can give solutions and keep track of the symptoms. They are not meant to replace the doctors’ role and the real human touch in healthcare services. However, they can be a great assistant initiating conversations then passing saved data to the medical experts.

3. Standardized care

Unlike humans, chatbots never have a bad day nor be in a bad mood. When patients reach out to them, they always behave with great manners. Chatbots’ patience forms standardized care service, which users and managers highly appreciate.
As the health clinics gather more cases and contacts, they can build better services based on the users’ feedback. Chatbots empowered with AI can solve requests with high accuracy when being trained. In that way, providers can diagnose consistently and precisely, delivering proper care to the patients.
Due to the above benefits, chatbots have emerged as the useful tool in medical centers. Chatbots suit many kinds of services, from clinics, big hospitals to pharmacies. Here are some of their applications in different healthcare types:

4. To a clinic

Chatbots can be used for tracking symptoms. By asking users several questions about their signs, they can give advice on the next steps, whether taking a pill and resting at home or showing ways to the nearest hospital.
Users can schedule an appointment with doctors using chatbots. Built-in BotStar chatbot templates allow you to do so with just a couple of clicks right in the interface.

BotStar healthcare chatbot making an appointment

5. To a national emergency

Chatbots might aid in educating the public about the pandemic and vaccinations. They can offer trusted guidance from experts to those with symptoms. WHO launched Messenger and WhatsApp health alert chatbot to provide users the latest news and real-time number estimation of positive cases.

WHO health alert in WhatsApp – Source: Business Insider

6. To a pharmacy

Based on customers’ requests, chatbots can consult them on medicines, vitamins and supplements, so that people can have a better understanding of every medicine type before making a purchase.

7. To a psychological center

Chatbots can help teach users psychological practices. Patients with mental disorders may fear judgement from therapists or even people they know. This prompts psychiatrists to adapt a friendly approach like chatbots to make them feel at ease showing their emotions. A therapy chatbot is non-judgemental. They can share thoughts with the patient, then track their mood and suggest appropriate practices or forward them to the professional.

Wysa is a chatbot for people who have mild depression and anxiety. It is designed to look like a playful penguin whom you can befriend, be listened to and seek help. Equipped with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques, Wysa can track your mood with friendly chats, guide you to a depression test and recommend you to a psychologist if detecting severe signs.

Chatbots can add a significant value to the healthcare system due to its availability and automation. Though chatbots cannot fully take over the doctors’ role, they are definitely making the job more effective, reducing workloads and overhead costs while enhancing both patient and provider experiences.

Interested in how a medical chatbot works? Try BotStar App now

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Jess P

Jess.P is a Content Creator at BotStar who is excited by creating read and watch content as much as she enjoys consuming it. In her spare-time, she can be found with a camera and notebook ready to document her surroundings.