Undoubtedly, artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting healthcare in more than one way. According to a recent report, 2 out 5 healthcare executives believe that AI technology will revolutionize the healthcare industry within the next three years. It is further expected that the growth in the AI market will touch $6.6 billion by the end of 2021.
In this article, we will focus on one crucial aspect of artificial intelligence – AI chatbots in the healthcare industry. Let’s understand how AI plays an integral role in healthcare and how AI chatbots lead the industry.
AI in Healthcare
AI has revolutionized a range of industries and verticals across the globe. From helping retail and eCommerce with inventory tracking to assisting banking and financial services with bots and more, AI is changing how industries function. And, healthcare is not an exception. AI is helping the healthcare industry streamline patient data, keep a check on hygiene, and a lot more. Let’s have a look at a few use cases to understand this better:
- Patient data – There is no need for large case books and record libraries. AI stores all the required patient information and presents the data within seconds when needed.
- Precise recording of vitals – The patient vitals like temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, and heart rate are recorded efficiently and accurately, eliminating any chances of manual errors.
- Assistance in surgeries – The AI bots work on commands based on the data fed into them. They can be of great help in assisting the surgeon in getting the required hand instruments and providing chair-side assistance.
- Keep a check on hygiene – Specialized AI bots can sense if an instrument or working area is contaminated. As a result, they will give off alert signals, thus helping to reduce cross-contamination.
- Always up and about – Unlike humans, they work until the batteries die. They are at their 100% concentration all of the time. So they can sense a vital drop or a drained IV tank and alert the workers.
AI also benefits healthcare by being the handbook medical encyclopedia. It assists the health workers in enabling and knowing the reasons for the ill health of the patient. Moreover, it can move around quicker with a better pace and help to take the case sheets and the patients to their respective departments.
AI And Chatbots: How Does It Work?
An AI chatbot is a software application used to conduct an online chat conversation via text or text-to-speech instead of direct contact with a live human agent. It is like texting a person, but the person on the other end of the chat is a bot and will provide quicker and efficient answers depending on the data it is fed with.
Chatbots are created using computer coding. They are simple yet complex machines. Internally, healthcare chatbots are fed with medical-related data – like what drug goes for which disease and what answer should be given for which question.
AI bots recognize the keywords in a query, search their database, find the solution related to that question, and present it to the person in the text. If there are questions that there is no information on, they give a neutral answer and direct the customer to another page or directly to the doctor. This reduces the workload of physicians. AI bots provide their comparative prescriptions for patients with a similar illness. Then, they guide the patients with their doubts regarding the medication and its effects.
The Two Types Of Chatbots
- Conversational chatbot – They take up information from the patient, like symptoms and their basic data, give them the diagnosis, treatment methods, and answers their doubts. This can happen in the form of text or audio, hence called conversational.
- Transactional chatbots – They handle money matters. These are made to help the health care workers and offices with the billing and payments. They can keep track of the patients’ treatment costs, medical bills, and even investigation bills.
In addition to these two types of chatbots, you can also choose to customize AI chatbots in the healthcare industry as per your needs by hiring offshore programmers. Customized bots are designed for your specific use case and serve the function better.
AI Chatbots in The Healthcare Industry
Schedule Medical Appointments
The chatbots are all online operated and can be accessed by patients for their regular check-ups. They give automatic reminders to the patients and also schedule their medical appointments as per their interests. Moreover, they check the physicians’ schedules and make appointments accurately to avoid the clash of dates or delayed waiting periods.
Collect Patient Data
The chatbots collect patient data and segregate them accordingly. It is done without any mistake for easy reference by the physician or the healthcare professional. The data is uploaded and saved for future references. They ask basic questions and patient history to which the answers given by the patients are recorded.
AI keeps the patients’ prescriptions intact, so whenever it is necessary, the prescriptions are taken into consideration for further medical review; or for the patients to review. Old prescriptions can be accessed by the patient or the physician, as it is essential to know the patient’s drug history before any new medication is given.
The chatbot keeps all patients’ prescriptions and medical history, so the health track is held intact. Thus, the progress or regress of a disease, the change in the vitals, even the changes in the diameter of a tumor, for example, can be kept in check. This will make the task easy for the physicians as they will know the course of the disease easily.
Internal Team Coordination
All the information scheduled, collected, and tracked by the AI is used efficiently for team coordination. The workers have access to this information, so if the case is to be transferred from one doctor to the other, the doctors do not need to sit and discuss the basic information at length. The AI gives them the information. The health workers have the information handy and can track to find out and coordinate their interests accordingly.
Examples of Healthcare Chatbots
This is specifically used to help the patients identify the early symptoms of cancer and prevent the progression of the disease. This algorithm was created by C source and is a great help to identify precancerous conditions.
Sensely is a chatbot that lets the patients convey their symptoms and clarify their doubts in both text and audio forms. Their database is vast as it has case records and information from many Cancer organizations.
The patients have to type in their information when they first enter the page. Then after the required questions are answered, the chatbot matches their symptoms with the ones in its algorithm. After finding a perfect solution, the patient is asked about the severity of the condition. Finally, the diagnosis is given, and treatment options are recommended to the patient.
As you can see, AI chatbots in the healthcare industry have revolutionized the segment like never before. Reducing the physicians’ workload, eliminating manual errors, and facilitating easy diagnosis along with various other benefits – these bots have advanced the healthcare industry and made it easier for both the patients and professionals.