Why doctors are loving the idea of chatbots?

Why doctors are loving the idea of chatbots?

Lack of engagement once a patient is discharged or otherwise leaves a medical office is the cause for limited results and higher costs of healthcare systems. Improved results with better savings can be achieved if a patient stays in touch with their clinician after having received a treatment. Patient engagement has today become a ‘trillion dollar opportunity’ where healthcare is concerned.
There is no change in the patient and doctor relationships over the years. For instance, if you feel something wrong with your health, then you immediately consult with a healthcare professional. The doctor in turn checks your vitals, conducts scrutiny of afflicted body parts and comes to a diagnosis. In some cases the doctor might even request for further investigations. In the end you are prescribed relevant medications to help you feel better.

Where does the chatbot come into play here ?

Many times doctors are busy and patients make appointments for illnesses that would otherwise resolve quickly without any specific treatment. Other times patients fail to show up for their appointment or follow-ups even for vital health issues. Many patients also fail to follow through with their medications after leaving the doctor’s office. Additionally, there are a myriad of queries and issues that may or may not require the attention of a doctor. That said, it is not possible to leave these questions unattended as that would leave a patient clueless, nervous and in a state of anxiety.

For instance, a new mom may have a plethora of questions that do not necessarily need a qualified doctor to answer them. These questions might relate to baby sleeping schedules, temperature, vaccinations etc. These are relevant questions to the mother and if multiplied by 20 new moms, it can add to a lot of unnecessary burden on the doctor. In such situations, chatbots that are supported and taught by doctors, can step in and take the load off. Guiding and addressing concerns of patients by comprehending and assessing their symptoms could be done by an intelligent chatbot. Also, patients can receive the attention and assistance they need immediately with a chatbot working as a medical assistant. Other benefits of chatbots range from improving customer experience, making customer service redundant, setting up appointments based on doctor schedules etc.

This is an example of a conversation led by a healthcare chatbot:

Patient: Hi!
Chatbot: Hi Jim! How can I help you today?
Patient: I am getting the chills. Also, I am running a temperature.
Chatbot: Oh! Your smart band data shows that you have a strong pulse and are running a temperature of 101 F. How long have the chills been around for?
Patient: Since the morning today.
Chatbot: I recommend that you come in immediately and see GP Dr. Mary. Let me go ahead and schedule an appointment.

Here is another example:

Chatbot: Hi Nick! How are you today?
Patient: I am a bit dizzy.
Chatbot: I am sorry to hear that. Do you have a temperature?
Patient: Yes. I am running 99 F since last night.
Chatbot: I see. This could be a fever. May I go ahead and book an appointment for 6 PM?
Patient: Yes, please!
Chatbot: I have fixed your appointment.

Healthcare chatbots can be used for the following:

1.Based on the complexity of a patient’s symptoms, a chatbot can schedule an appointment with the right doctor.
2.Keeping homecare assistants informed about their patients.
3.Notifying a nurse if the parameters from continuous patient monitoring go out of control.

The primary use of a chatbot is to minimize on operational costs by freeing up healthcare professionals time. These intelligent chatbots are also capable of performing tasks related to insurance claims, stock and billing among other things. For these reasons, doctors who are early adopters of chatbot technology are already in love with it.