Because health chatbots excel in providing hyper-personalized services, they make a natural fit for the healthcare industry. Personal data is incredibly important when it comes to providing healthcare. A physician assesses the patient’s medical history as well as everyday details like their diet, exercise regimen, symptoms and more. With healthcare chatbots, patients can use this data to help them discover likely ailments and find out the best course of action for them.
This isn’t new. The history of chatbots has been mingled with the healthcare industry since day one. ELIZA, an iconic 1960s chatbot that showed how convincing artificial intelligence could be in human-machine communication, was modeled after a therapist. While the bot wasn’t really meant to treat mental health patients—the role of a therapist was more a cynical context to feed the user’s dialogue back to them, ensuring ELIZA could always come up with a response. It still serves as an insightful example of how bots can help patients today.
Healthcare remains a challenge for many Americans. So, technological leaps like chatbots can help them access the care they need. Apple’s Health Kit and growing trends in the “quantified self” have empowered users to embrace their medical and physical data through dieting, regular exercising, keeping track of heart rates and period cycles. All that data ca be overwhelming and confusing, though. With healthcare bots, users can make sense of medical data or access medical knowledge in a fast, intuitive way using natural language.
How Patient Bots can Revolutionize Healthcare
Bots in healthcare can revolutionize diagnosis and treatment for patients. Most obviously, top health chatbots can automate the interview that doctors give patients. Users can list the symptoms they’re experiencing, then answer clarifying questions to zero in on a diagnosis.
While such a diagnosis should not replace one from a medical professional, it can help patients discover what their issue might be and whether it’s worth worrying over. This can help them describe their symptoms when they do meet a doctor. In fact, after assessing symptoms, healthcare bots could help users get in contact with their physician to confirm and assess their condition. Bots like HealthTap put users directly in touch with a doctor, offering fast, speedy and convenient medical advice.
A health chatbot could help with treatment, too. Older patients who have trouble remembering to take their medication can receive reminders from patient bots. Bots in healthcare can similarly educate users on how to take doses as prescribed. They also minimize the risk of overdose or other harmful habits.
When it comes to mental health, patient bots are the perfect medium for automated talk therapy. Chatbots are an accessible treatment option for people with social anxiety or depression who otherwise might not have access to a therapist. WoeBot is a popular Messenger health bot that provides daily talk therapy and exercises to users.
Bots in Healthcare Assist Physicians, Too
While the most interesting use of top healthcare chatbots will predominantly affect patients’ experiences, health chatbots can help physicians, too. Bots in healthcare can set and manage appointments, and relay information on what to expect before they arrive. They can answer common questions about health benefits and procedures. Thereby. they free up time for a physician’s clerical staff.
Health chatbots might also deliver lab test results the moment they’re available. Besides, they explain what they mean to patients and recommending the next course of action. Essentially, these bots can automate repetitive tasks when it comes to physician-doctor communication. They also help both parties save time without having to communicate within strict office hours.