- Chatbots in healthcare are designed to be available 24/7, answer medical queries on any device, and offer mental support. They can respond within seconds and save the questions for physicians to review when they’re online.
- Medical chatbots are capable of automating a myriad of tasks, which eliminates manual work, thereby reducing costs.
- Technology such as chatbots play a crucial role in offering medical support quickly, thus eliminating long waiting hours and saving ample time.
The chatbot market is expected to surge at a compound annual growth rate of 23.3 percent from 2023 to 2030 timeframe. The increase in the acceptance of chatbots to avail services to users in the healthcare sector is expected to increase market growth in the forthcoming years.
Apart from this, the benefits of chatbots in healthcare include around-the-clock availability, checking for symptoms, medical diagnosis, reminders, appointment bookings, and much more. Chatbots can be integrated with numerous healthcare software to enhance patient engagement and deliver timely responses to patient queries. Let’s look at these benefits in-depth below.
Benefits of Chatbots in Healthcare
1. Medical Diagnosis
Individuals looked to Google Internet for self-diagnosis, however with the age of artificial intelligence, NLP, and machine learning technologies, people are turning to AI-assisted chatbots for medical diagnosis. Conversational chatbots in healthcare are developed to answer queries related to medical conditions, symptoms, and diseases.
The capability of a chatbot for medical diagnosis depends on its level of maturity. A low-grade chatbot may not be able to interpret queries as required and deliver answers as per its ability. However, a high-grade chatbot is trained to have a holistic approach to a problem and then give an appropriate answer to it. ChatGPT is one such high-grade chatbot that responds as humanly as possible and is used by users for medical diagnosis.
Amidst the pros of using chatbots for medical diagnosis, the accuracy of information is still a debatable topic amongst healthcare providers. Issues about chatbots such as misinformation, biases, privacy, security, and accuracy of information are still a major concern in the healthcare sector.
2. 24/7 Availability
Patients with chronic illnesses such as cardiac diseases, pulmonary issues, cancer, diabetes, etc., are in constant need of support and care. A physician may or may not be available around the clock to provide care, so in such situations, a medical chatbot plays a crucial role in offering support to patients.
Chatbots in healthcare are designed to be available 24/7, answer medical queries on any device, and offer mental support. They can respond within seconds and save the questions for physicians to review when they’re online. In addition, chatbots are multilingual (one of the many benefits of NLP), so they can offer support to non-native people as well.
Medical chatbots are capable of taking on a myriad of tasks such as automated appointment booking, solving patient queries, medical diagnosis, timely reminders, and more. Since one bot can control numerous tasks, it eliminates manual work by automating these tasks, thereby reducing costs. Additionally, it eradicates costs spent on recruiting administrative support staff to manage bookings, patient queries, and reminders. The cost of training the admin staff is also eliminated, thus decreasing expenses even further.
Organizations looking to install a chatbot can compare expenses for developing a chatbot and then make a decision. Ideally, the cost of developing a chatbot can range from $40,000 to $50,000. The cost depends on whether the bot is customized or not as well.
4. Enhance Patient Engagement
Patient engagement helps in two aspects: to promote positive outcomes and to maintain patient-doctor communication. AI-assisted chatbots are equipped with features to help patients engage in their care. Chatbot’s ability to answer FAQs engages patients to manage their health and since chatbots are available around-the-clock, patients can seek medical advice at any time.
Furthermore, some of the chatbots include a feature to find the location of a general physician and experts in their locality. Patients can easily find the doctor of their choice via chatbots. Medical chatbots can be integrated with EHR, patient portals, and telemedicine software, thereby enhancing the potential and popularity of healthcare software amongst patients and providers. Chatbots eliminate the need to call the front desk for every minor issue and allow users to engage with bots to clarify their queries.
5. Prompt Assistance
Healthcare demands prompt action from providers as a slight delay can result in a life-and-death situation. Technology such as chatbots plays a crucial role in offering medical support quickly, thus eliminating long waiting hours and saving ample time. For patients in need of mental support, chatbots can converse with them in a human-like manner and provide prompt assistance to their queries.
Furthermore, there may be times when calling services are unavailable, so chatbots can book appointments and also request prescription refills to save time.
6. Check Symptoms
One of the key benefits of chatbots in healthcare is to check for symptoms. Patients can determine their disease via the symptom checker feature of the chatbot. Symptom checkers can also alert patients if they need emergency care or just go to a general physician for a consultation. The accuracy of symptom checkers is questioned by physicians, but future chatbots can come with advanced functionality that makes no mistakes while determining features.
Reminders play a vital role for those patients who have a busy schedule and for the elderly who have memory problems. Patients can set reminders about their medications, appointment bookings, prescription refills, and care routine. Gentle reminders aid patients to stay on par with their medication routine and not miss out any appointments. No-shows are a setback for physicians as it not only affects their daily schedule but also their revenue stream. Healthcare chatbots help to resolve such issues.
Chatbot technology is expected to bring lucrative opportunities for healthcare IT companies and healthcare facilities. To get the best-in-class healthcare AI solution for your organization, get in touch with Arkenea, a leading healthcare software development company with over 12 years of experience in the field. Our team of experts will deliver solutions as per your requirements and industry standards.