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With sporadic developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence in recent years, chatbots have rapidly become popular in various industry sectors.

With virtual assistants like Google now, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana making a lot of buzz. It’s safe to say that chatbots are here to stay and their popularity likely to grow further in the near future.

Especially with further advancements in AI technology.

Chatbots In Healthcare – It’s Possibilities and Implications

The possibilities for chatbot growth in the health care industry are at the highest right now. Although adoption of this technology hasn’t seen the most sporadic spread, the number of healthcare chatbots has been on a steady increase in recent years. As health services become more patient-centric, offering better-personalized patient experience is fast becoming the top priority for most healthcare providers.

Healthcare companies are fast embracing technological trends to stay at par with the latest trends and market needs. In ensuring they deliver the best services to patients and as customer services begin to take on a whole new approach:

Healthcare providers are developing investment interest in automated tools that offer professional, timely care services. 

For healthcare providers whose care services are available online, there have been reports of patients expressing displeasures at the slow responses given to their health concerns. Delay in response often results in the aggrieved leaving damaging reviews online to get back at healthcare providers they are not pleased with.

In such a competitive market like healthcare, maintaining a good reputation online is vital to keeping patients satisfied there. Chatbots are designed to be a faster and more functional alternative to human customer care executives. In addition, chatbots are geared towards providing adequate help to both healthcare professionals and patients.

As a patient, does the use of healthcare chatbot technology in the provision of primary medical care appeal to you? If yes, thanks to the rapid development in automated assistance services, you can now get some form of medical care from anywhere you are. This has helped reduce the workload on medical professionals, and now, they can concentrate on other productive things. Chatbots are known to help patients with medical queries, medication guide, symptom checks, nutrition, and other issues.

Thanks to chatbot technology, there has been a noticeable decrease in patients’ visits to doctors for minor issues in recent years.

Rather than running to medical professionals for minor health questions or self-diagnosing as was previously observed, patients are now turning to chatbots as the first course of action.

There are projections from various sources that soon, chatbots will be the first point of contact for the majority of medical help and that patients will only visit doctors when chatbots fail to handle their issues.

The Future of Chatbots In Healthcare

When it comes to patient’s engagement beyond customer service and other basic tasks, we cannot give chatbots too much responsibility, as AI in healthcare is still a relatively new subject matter. Here are some cases in which Chatbots implementation can be improved in the nearest future.

Customer Service/Administration with an AI Chatbot

Go on any website today, and the first thing you’ll notice popping up from a corner is a chatbot willing to render its humble services to you.

It is, therefore, not surprising that healthcare providers are beginning to incorporate chatbots into their websites to help users navigate their services and ultimately make letter health-related decisions.

In this regard, the future can be targeted at how chatbots can help schedule appointments, issue various reminders, or help with the automatic purchase prescription medications refill. Although there will be a few privacy and HIPAA obstacles to jump before tech like that become available for public use, it’s entirely possible, if all the right boxes are in check.

Mental Health

There are a ton of bots that provide a very humanized experience to its users; in this scenario, users feel like they’re talking to a real individual. For most people, being able to talk about how they are feeling, and their anxieties can be incredibly helpful in attaining better mental health.

The use a conversational chatbot in situations like the above example can help treat with the treatment of lots of people in a short period. A healthcare professional can easily step in and take over if there is any need to go beyond the capabilities of the bot.

Research / Treatment

Chatbot and AI technology provide the opportunity to harness the power of data through data analysis, faster than ever before. A prime example deals with the constant release of new cancer studies; keeping track of all the innovative solutions available is humanly impossible.

A doctor treating a cancer patient cannot always be ahead of every new piece of research available out there; however, a machine can.

An AI-powered machine has the capabilities of combing through billions of data relating to a particular subject matter in a short time, and after that provide concrete recommendations both for doctors and patients.

Generally, other use cases will focus on the ability for AI to find and deliver pertinent information all to offer better and personalized patient treatment.

Claims and Billing

Thankfully, healthcare AI chatbots can assist with claims, insurance companies, and medical bills. A healthcare chatbot has the capacity to check existing coverage, help with file claims, and track the status of these claims.

There are also various Healthcare AI tools that can help doctors with pre-authorization processes and billing inquiries.

Chatbots and healthcare are uniting to provide a better patient and provider experience. Although the tasks undertaken by most chatbots in the healthcare sector are basic right now, the potential for chatbots to be used as diagnostic tools and more becomes more apparent daily.

Even at this minimalistic stage: chatbots are helping to reduce the staff load, overhead costs of most healthcare providers. They are also helping to improve patient services, as they provide a 24/7 conversation outlet for patients.

The Seven Best Examples We Know Of:

The potentials for Chatbots in the healthcare sector are massive and continue to expand. In recent years, there has been a drastic increase in the number of health chatbots. In this article, we have taken time to list seven chatbots that are leading the automated services sector of the healthcare industry:

1. Florence

Florence chatbot was launched in 2017 and has seen an immense increase in users over the years. According to Florence, there are at least two thousand users of this Virtual health assistant daily. Florence acts as a virtual nurse and performs the duty of nurse during a patient’s hospital stay.

These duties vary; from reminding you to take your pills to track your body weight, menstrual periods, and mood, Florence does it all.

Although the user will have to manually inform Florence of all necessary details like:

  • Drug name
  • Dosages
  • Time

These details are given in a conversation form through the chatbot. Florence will after that remind you to take medicine at the time mentioned and at the prescribed dosages through messages.

Florence also has additional features like locations a doctor or pharmacy nearby and providing such doctors or pharmacies with information on any medical condition patient may have. The chatbot also educates users on what they must do if they miss any pill. Florence is available on Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Kik.

2. Izzy

Izzy is a conversational virtual assistant, designed to help women track their menstrual cycle. It provides users with timely information on their menstrual health and any sexual issues.

For women who are uncomfortable sharing their menstrual issues with another person and as such have resorted to hiding issues. They maybe going through on various aspects regarding periods and menstrual cycle, Izzy is the assistant you need.

Izzy works in a conversational style. The chatbot reminds you to take birth control pills, when you are on your fertility period and when you’re about to begin your next period date.

Even when you aren’t feeling too good, Izzy will regularly check on you to ensure that your symptoms are improving. Izzy is available on Facebook Messenger and offers various friendly online help.

3. Forksy

Forksy is available on Facebook Messenger. It’s designed to help you keep track of your calories intake and generally promote a healthier eating habit.

Forksy tells you the benefits of the food you eat and informs you about the calorie each food items contain. When you initiate a conversation with Forksy, it responds with automated feedback powered by AI technology.

Forksy is quite similar to speaking to a nutritionist versed in how much calories, fat, protein, fiber, etc. each meal you consume contains,

The best part about Forksy is that compared to other nutrition and food tracking apps out there, Forksy allows you to speak to it in your natural language.

For example, you can tell Forksy you had a cup of orange juice and toast for breakfast. The bot will bring out the nutritional info of those items. You preferred input method could be through text, or you could speak to it.

You can then log that food in, and edit your meal; you can add more items, check the calories in each food item and create a proper feeding plan.

Besides being able to understand natural language for food uploads. Forksy also allows users to track food using emojis or by uploading a photo of the meal. Do note that this is more of an experimental feature right now.

Forksy is envisioned to get smarter over time, as it continues on its learning journey. As time goes on, more features are expected to be added to the chatbot.

Forksy also provides users with a food diary that features how many calories they consumed in a day. It helps users compare it with their daily limit and other details they want to monitor. Forksy was developed as the number one diet and nutrition chatbot and is fast attaining that position.

4. Babylon Health

Babylon is a health service provider subscription platform that allows patients to have a remote consultation with healthcare professionals and doctors. The consultation is usually driven by AI and is generally based on the patient’s medical history and general information available to Babylon

If necessary, users can engage in live video chats with a real doctor through the app.

There is also a symptom checker within chatbot that offers relevant information to the user based on symptoms they may be experiencing. When a user reports a specific disease symptom to the app, Babylon does a background cross-checks of the symptoms against a vast database of diseases and after that offers an appropriate solution.

In 2017, during a test run, the UK National Health Service (NHS) was recorded to have used Babylon chatbot to dispense some medical advice.

5. Safedrugbot

SafedrugBot is an AI-powered virtual assistant designed to help healthcare professionals provide valuable guidance and health support to women who are breastfeeding. The chatbot searches through a vast database to find detailed information on drug usages, using search queries based on the active ingredient in such drugs or the brand name of the drug in need.

As medical knowledge keeps updating and professionals keep working in various fields, it is only proper that an infusion of technology be made into the treatment and delivery of safe and quality care to patients. This becomes more important as pregnant, and breastfeeding women access to proper healthcare becomes more complicated during this period.

SafedrugBot is the AI-powered bot built to address this issue. SafedrugBot is a messaging service that offers assistance to breastfeeding women and medical practitioners via Telegram messaging app.

6. Cancer chatbot

When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, then the first many people seek knowledge of the disease. 

Although there are millions of resources available out there, Cancer Chatbot does an excellent job of accumulating various cancer-related information in one place and presents them to patients in a conversational manner based on queries patients may have.

You can always trust Cancer Chatbot to deliver solutions relevant to an underlying patient condition, as the chatbot sources data from the patients, family, friends to these solutions.

Not only does it help cancer patients with useful tips and suggestions, but Cancer Chatbot also helps to keep the families of a patient informed about the condition the patient is in at various times. The chatbot teaches friends and families how to talk to a person diagnosed with cancer and even guides family members on how to meaningfully contribute to the treatment of the patient.

Cancer Chatbot is accessible through Facebook Messenger. All you need to do is chat with the assistant, and you’re sure to get replies with immediate help.

7. Woebot

Image result for woebot

Depression is a common form of mental illness that goes undiagnosed and untreated a lot of times. 

Often people suffering from depression are afraid or uncomfortable to share their fears with others. As a result of this fear, most people continue to suffer in silence throughout their lives.

As part of an out of clinic approach to depression treatment, Woebot is an artificially intelligent chatbot designed from simulating human cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).

Woebot studies patient personality, and moods, and suggest remedies a therapist would.

According to a recent survey carried out comparing speaking to human therapists, and talking to Woebot, most patients recorded that they found talking to Woebot about their state of mind more comfortable.

Woebot was developed by Alison Darcy, a clinical psychologist at Stanford University. She hopes the app will help patients better deal with emotional challenges like depression.

Summary

In today’s every busy life schedule, chatbots are slowly crawling in to make our lives a whole lot easier. When visiting the doctor or the hospital becomes a challenge. The knowledge that there is a bot available online that can at least offer the basics in medical healthcare is comforting to have. Not only is it comforting, but it is also a more convenient option to look forward tom.

Thankfully the virtual assistants out there have received and continue to receive positive responses daily. Primarily because these bots have been successful in keeping more people out of the hospitals by attending to basic needs, they ordinarily would have visited a doctor for.

With these virtual assistants, patients can now keep better track of their periods, book physician, analyze their symptoms, set reminders, appointments, and more.

Finally, with most of these chatbots aligned to Facebook Messenger, there is no need to switch between apps. As a user, you can check various health conditions and get access to a tone of health information even while on while going through Facebook.

This is a big win for the average patient seeking a more comfortable and productive life. As technology advances, we expect to see better chatbots with enhanced healthcare features across various platforms and attending to different needs.

Enterprise Bot Manager © 2019 Filament Consultancy Group. Registered in England and Wales –  Company Number 10180537. © 2019 Filament Consultancy Group Canada Limited. Registered in Ontario, Corporation Number 1995332.