AI chatbots in healthcare: 6 use cases and examples
Speed up time to resolution and automate patient interactions with six AI use case examples for the healthcare industry.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know AI chatbots are all the rave these days, and for a number of reasons:
of customer choose a chatbot for simple inquiries
of queries are resolved in 10 messages or less
of companies using chatbots get higher quality leads
Chatbots are designed to make interacting with businesses simpler, resolve queries faster, and reduce the cost of customer service and other expenses. So now that AI chatbots are available, and being developed further every day, it’s no surprise that businesses are jumping on the opportunity to incorporate them into their customer communication strategies.
In most industries it’s quite simple to create and deploy a chatbot, but for healthcare and pharmacies, things can get a little tricky. You’re dealing with sensitive patient information, diagnosis, prescriptions, and medical advice, which can all be detrimental if the chatbot gets something wrong.
Chatbots are only as intelligent as we train them to be, and so “teaching” your chatbot how to interact with patients is critical. Here’s what our Chief Business Officer, Ivan Ostojić had to say about new AI chatbots for healthcare:
So, how do healthcare centers and pharmacies incorporate AI chatbots without jeopardizing patient information and care? In this blog we’ll walk you through healthcare use cases you can start implementing with an AI chatbot without risking your reputation.
What is a healthcare chatbot?
Healthcare chatbots are intelligent assistants used by medical centers and medical professionals to help patients get assistance faster. They can help with FAQs, appointment booking, reminders, and other repetitive questions or queries that often overload medical offices.
Why are chatbots important in healthcare?
In general, people have grown accustomed to using chatbots for a variety of reasons, including chatting with businesses. The healthcare industry is no different. In fact, 52% of patients in the USA acquire their healthcare data through chatbots.
People want speed, convenience, and reliability from their healthcare providers, and chatbots can help alleviate a lot of the strain healthcare centers and pharmacies experience daily.
What are the benefits of healthcare chatbots?
- Speeding up query resolution: using a chatbot can help healthcare centers resolve simple patient issues much faster, leaving reception open to urgent calls and complicated issues
- Reducing costs: Globally, chatbots are reported to save the healthcare industry up to $3.6 billion by helping healthcare centers automate processes and take over tasks like appointment scheduling from front desk staff
- Ensuring reliability: not all doctors and healthcare providers can be available 24/7 for assistance, using a chatbot opens the opportunity to assist patients at any time of day, creating a better sense of security and reliability to your healthcare center
- Offering anonymity: most patients prefer to keep all their medical information private, that even includes some highly personal questions they may have. Chatbots act as a non-human, and non-judgmental, solution for patients looking for assistance with medical information without sharing their identity
6 uses cases and examples of chatbots in healthcare
1. Appointment management
If you aren’t already using a chatbot for appointment management, then it’s almost certain your phone lines are constantly ringing and busy. With an AI chatbot, patients can send a message to your clinic, asking to book, reschedule, or cancel appointments without the hassle of waiting on hold for long periods of time. Using an AI chatbot can make the entire experience more personal and give them the impression they are speaking with a human.
2. Prescription refill, medication, and vaccination reminders
Life is busy, and remembering to refill prescriptions, take medication, or even stay up to date with vaccinations can sometimes slip people’s minds. With an AI chatbot, you can set up messages to be sent to patients with a personalized reminder. They can interact with the bot if they have more questions like their dosage, if they need a follow-up appointment, or if they have been experiencing any side effects that should be addressed.
3. Insurance claims
Healthcare insurance claims are complicated, stressful, and not something patients want to deal with, especially if they are in the middle of a health crisis. Using an AI chatbot for health insurance claims can help alleviate the stress of submitting a claim and improve the overall satisfaction of patients with your clinic. Answer questions about patient coverage and train the AI chatbot to navigate personal insurance plans to help patients understand what medical services are available to them.
Your AI chatbot can also guide patients through the claim process. It’s inevitable that questions will arise, and you can help them submit their claims in a step-by-step process with a chatbot or even remind them to complete their claim with personalized reminders.
4. Collect patient feedback
Not everyone has time to give you feedback on their experience with your healthcare center but answering a few short questions with an AI chatbot does make the entire processes easier and provides you with more data on how to improve experiences. After an appointment, send a follow up message checking up on your patient. Train your chatbot to be conversational and collect feedback in a casual and stress-free way.
5. Request medical records
Patients sometimes need fast access to their medical records. Instead of waiting on hold for a healthcare call center and waiting even longer for an email to come through with their records, train your AI chatbot to manage this kind of query. You can speed up time to resolution, achieve higher satisfaction rates and ensure your call lines are free for urgent issues.
6. Form fill abandonment
If patients have started filling out an intake form or pre-appointment form on your website but did not complete it, send them a reminder with a chatbot. Better yet, ask them the questions you need answered through a conversation with your AI chatbot. This allows for a more relaxed and conversational approach to providing critical information for their file with your healthcare center or pharmacy.
Challenges around implementing chatbots for healthcare
- Simple queries only: AI chatbots for healthcare can and should only handle simple queries. Although they can provide conversational and human like responses, it is too risky to trust AI with providing medical advice or complex questions.
- AI hallucinations: Training AI chatbots is a tedious process. This is because you want to avoid AI hallucinations, when AI presents false information as a fact. If an AI chatbot hallucinates a response that leads to harm to a patient, it can impact the reputation of the healthcare center. Training and accounting for biases are critical before launching an AI chatbot for healthcare.
- Privacy concerns: Healthcare data contains very sensitive patient information, and patients could be wary of sharing their data with an AI chatbot. Ensuring your messaging is secure and compliant with local regulations is essential to help curb this concern.
The future of AI chatbots for healthcare
AI chatbots for healthcare are not going anywhere. In fact, they are sure to take over as a key tool in helping healthcare centers and pharmacies streamline processes and alleviate the workload on staff.
With that being said, we could end up seeing AI chatbots helping with diagnosing illnesses or prescribing medication. But this is not a simple task. We would first have to master how to ethically train chatbots to interact with patients about sensitive information and provide the best possible medical services without human intervention.
It is close to impossible that AI chatbots could ever replace doctors or nurses, but it could be the right tool that helps with pre-appointment screening, post-appointment follow-ups, or symptom tracking for patients with chronic illnesses.
Perfecting the six use cases mentioned above would provide patients with comfortable, secure, and reliable conversations with their healthcare providers.
But where do you start?
Infobip Experiences is a tool that can help you jump start your conversational patient journeys using AI technology. Get an inside look at how to digitalize and streamline your processes while creating ethical and safe conversational journeys on any channel for your patients.