How conversational AI powered bots are democratising the healthcare industry
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How conversational AI powered bots are democratising the healthcare industry

How conversational AI powered bots are democratising the healthcare industry

Conversational AI solutions have the potential to make life easier for patients, doctors, nurses and other hospitals and clinic staff in several ways

Covid-19 forced the healthcare industry to rapidly embrace modern technologies, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), in many different ways. AI is widely used in the healthcare sector for various reasons such as drug discovery and precision medicine.

Conversational AI, which is perhaps one of the simplest forms of AI delivered via chatbots/virtual assistants, is revolutionising patient care with intuitive two-way conversations, making it easier for healthcare providers to provide quality care to patients. Conversational AI solutions have the potential to make life easier for patients, doctors, nurses and other hospitals and clinic staff in several ways.

According to Juniper’s research, AI powered chatbots will emerge as the first port of call for users looking to connect with their healthcare providers, with the number of chatbot interactions expected to exceed 2.8 billion by 2023. The same report also predicts that with caregiving institutions like hospitals turning to AI and chatbots, cost savings to the tune of $4bn could be realised by 2023.

Conversational AI can help engage in personalised conversations with patients and provide the information they need in a user-friendly, low-friction format with a low turnaround time. With context recording, users can continue from where they left off during their previous conversations. This flexibility and convenience are not possible with human-based voice interactions at scale. Further, AI-based chatbots can not only handle thousands of user queries or call volumes, but they can also provide a more consistent user experience with every interaction.

We are already seeing how, with voice or text-based chatbots and virtual assistants, users can interact with healthcare providers quickly and easily to get information, book appointments and more. On their part, healthcare providers are streamlining and automating various processes, improving productivity and patient experience in the process and this is just the beginning. The kind of use cases and applications possible with conversational AI in healthcare are many.

Reimagining the contours of healthcare
According to latest research report by PwC, AI will contribute $96bn in 2030 which would be 13.6 per cent of the country’s GDP. Here are four ways how healthcare providers in the UAE can go one step further with conversational AI and reimagine the contours of the healthcare continuum in the region:

Faster appointment booking: Healthcare bots can help patients or their guardians quickly and easily book doctor appointments by prompting a few text or voice instructions using conversational cues.

Timely information sharing: Healthcare providers can use healthcare bots to disseminate relevant information to people, such as infrastructure updates, test results and new treatment options, especially for non-critical treatment, improving user connect.

Priority emergency care: Healthcare bots can constantly feed off big data to detect anomalies and raise flags. For example, based on symptom and patient history, a healthcare bot can alert doctors about impending signs of a person’s health risks well in time, prompting better diagnosis and early treatment.

Post-treatment follow-up: AI-enabled chatbots can ease the burden on both healthcare providers as well patients to see through the healing period, tracking necessary milestones and timelines as well as recommending actions via alerts-based mechanisms.

The applications of conversational AI in healthcare are plenty. One of the most recent trends is the use of conversational AI in mental healthcare. Given the pandemic-induced stress levels and rising awareness and need for mental healthcare to be addressed on an immediate basis, conversational AI solutions have the potential to be trusted virtual advisors, counselling people that need care in a personalised way, in real-time.

Ravi Sundararajan is the COO at Gupshup

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