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AI chatbots in the healthcare industry

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Why medical AI chatbots?

Effective communication is the lifeline of any healthcare provider. Without it, patients may feel frustrated, confused, and even neglected, which can spiral into delayed recoveries and soaring churn rates.

However, with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, healthcare providers are finding a new and innovative way to communicate with their patients.

AI chatbots are computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users through a messaging interface. They use natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms to understand and respond to user requests. In the healthcare industry, these chatbots are used for various tasks like scheduling appointments, answering basic medical questions, and nudging patients to take their medications on time.

Healthcare chatbots market: a quick scan

According to Grand View Research, the global healthcare chatbots market size was estimated at USD 787.1M in 2022, and is expected to grow at a  CAGR of 23.9 percent from 2023 to 2030.

Global healthcare chatbots market. Global market size: $787.1M

34.4%
Healthcare providers
18%
Patients
15.6%
Insurance companies
32%
Others

Statista claims that retail and healthcare are the top industries in the US that engage chatbots.

Share of consumers who have used chatbots to engage with companies in the United States as of 2019, by industry*

40%
40%

Retailers

22%
22%

Healthcare

21%
21%

Utilities

20%
20%

Entertainment

20%
20%

Financial services

16%
16%

Vacation/travel

14%
14%

Software

9%
9%

Government

9%
9%

News media

Source: Statista

By 2031, a significant rise in patients using chatbots to manage their treatment is anticipated by 48 percent of European clinicians, 42 percent of North American clinicians, 53 percent of South American clinicians, and 53 percent of clinicians from Asia Pacific.

Clinical’s opinions on greater use of chatbots to manage treatment by 2031 by region

53%
53%

Asia Pacific

48%
48%

Europe

46%
46%

Middle East & Africa

42%
42%

North America

53%
53%

South America

Source: Statista

China, Spain, and Japan have the highest percentage of clinicians who believe more patients will use chatbots to manage their treatment by 2031 (56, 55, and 54 percent respectively).

Clinical’s opinions on greater chatbot use to manage treatment by 2031 by country

56%
56%

China

55%
55%

Spain

54%
54%

Japan

49%
49%

India

46%
46%

UK

44%
44%

Germany

43%
43%

US

39%
39%

France

Source: Statista

Capabilities of AI chatbots in healthcare industry

Years of building AI chatbots have taught us one thing: They’re not just assistants available 24/7; they’re game changers.

Appointment scheduling

AI medical chatbots streamline the process of managing appointments with medical specialists. Patients can easily schedule, reschedule, or cancel appointments anytime via chat.

Medical information retrieval

With the right software design, your medical chatbot can securely retrieve and utilize patient’s medical data within one session.

Initial symptom assessment

Your AI chatbot can perform a preliminary assessment of a patient’s health condition before directing them to a specialist, saving precious time and prioritizing emergencies.

Locating healthcare services

Chatbots assist patients in finding nearby clinics or pharmacies and even help them book medical services or reserve medications as needed.

Health monitoring

By integrating with health apps like Apple Health via APIs, chatbots access and analyze health data to provide personalized support and insights.

Post-discharge follow-up

After a patient is discharged, chatbots can perform regular check-ups to monitor their condition, address minor health issues automatically, and alert medical professionals to emergencies quickly

Mental health support

Chatbots can provide patients with mental support. It can be a simple meditation exercise to deal with a panic attack or scheduling an appointment with a specialist.

Chatbot integration with electronic health records

To ensure seamless and secure information exchange, we integrate AI chatbots with electronic health records (EHR). Here's a quick rundown of how it typically works.

ai chatbots in the healthcare industry_01
01

Data access and retrieval

AI chatbots require access to patient data stored in the EHR system. To achieve this, we commonly utilize application programming interfaces (APIs) to link the chatbot with the EHR database.

02

User authentication

When a patient interacts with the chatbot, the chatbot must request user authentication details. This ensures the user has the necessary permissions to access the patient's health records. As a result, only authorized users, including the chatbot, can retrieve or update sensitive health information.

03

Interaction and data input

The chatbot interacts with the user to gather pertinent details like symptoms or medical history. Users provide information conversationally, and the chatbot utilizes NLP algorithms to comprehend and extract crucial data.

04

Data processing

The chatbot processes gathered data and conducts initial analyses or triage using predefined algorithms or rules. In certain instances, AI chatbots may integrate with machine learning models to improve their ability to continuously understand and respond to user inputs.

05

Interaction with EHR system

The chatbot seamlessly engages with the EHR system to access or modify patient medical records by leveraging the established API connection. This involves retrieving current data, updating medical histories, and adding new information gathered during the chatbot interaction.

06

Personalized responses and recommendations

By leveraging the patient's health records, the chatbot can analyze a patient’s current condition and suggest possible causes. This helps AI systems personalize treatment based on personal background and limitations.

07

Privacy and security measures

Rigorous privacy and security protocols are in place to safeguard patient data. These encompass encrypting data during transmission, adhering to HIPAA-compliant app development standards, and enforcing strong access controls on sensitive patient information.

ai chatbots in the healthcare industry_02

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Benefits of AI chatbots in healthcare

Chatbots are the new face of healthcare efficiency, breathing life into patient care with less admin hassle, more engagement, and better care delivery. The ultimate result? Healthier, happier patients.

Benefits for patients

Remote monitoring and alerts

Chatbots can collect and analyze data from remote monitoring devices, supporting the management of chronic conditions.

Also, they can generate alerts and notifications based on predefined thresholds, facilitating timely interventions.

Improved patient engagement

Chatbots are available 24/7, interacting with patients in a personalized way even when medical staff is unavailable.

Efficient appointment scheduling

Chatbots in healthcare streamline the scheduling process and provide timely appointment reminders, enhancing follow-up care with detailed instructions for upcoming procedures.

Continuity of care

If an AI chatbot is integrated with EHR, it can assess a patient’s medical history from a wider angle, aiding medical professionals in developing personalized treatment plans and ongoing care.

Providing reliable health information

Chatbots combat misinformation by delivering trusted health information and reducing reliance on unreliable sources.

Reducing patient anxiety

Operated via a conversational interface, AI chatbots can help alleviate patient concerns and anxiety about symptoms, while instant feedback makes patients feel more informed and at ease.

Benefits for healthcare workers and providers

Cost savings

Chatbots automate routine tasks, reduce administrative costs, and empower healthcare providers to reallocate resources more efficiently.

Quick triage and prioritization

AI chatbots can assess symptoms provided by users, allowing healthcare establishments to detect severe conditions earlier and prioritize urgent cases in an automated and efficient manner.

Time efficiency

Chatbots can handle routine tasks such as appointment scheduling, prescription refills, and answering frequently asked questions. This reduces administrative burdens and allows healthcare specialists to focus on what really matters: patient outcomes.

Enhanced data management

EHR integration grants AI chatbots secure, real-time access to complete patient data, enabling the detection of overlooked anomalies and enhancing informed decision-making.

Improved coordination

Chatbots integrated with EHR enhance communication and coordination, ensuring all relevant specialists can access necessary information from a single source.

Data-driven insights

AI chatbots analyze historical and real-time data to uncover health trends and patterns, supporting more informed healthcare management and research decisions.

Applications of AI chatbots in healthcare

While AI chatbots offer a broad range of applications, patients typically employ them for specific tasks, including receiving rapid responses during emergencies, getting detailed information on health-related topics, and scheduling appointments.

Predicted use cases for chatbots

A quick answer

37%
37%

Resolving an issue

35%
35%

Detailed answers

35%
35%

Reaching to human customer service

34%
34%

Making a reservation

33%
33%

Paying a bill

29%
29%

Buying a basic item

27%
27%

Getting inspiration for purchases

22%
22%

Connecting to a news service

22%
22%

Communicating with multiple brands

18%
18%

None of these things

14%
14%

Buying an expensive item

13%
13%

Examples of healthcare chatbots

You need to see it to believe it. We get it. Here are just a few successful chatbots in healthcare to inspire your journey.

Symptom checking and self-care

Sensely offers an AI chatbot that integrates seamlessly with healthcare operations, enabling patients to input symptoms and receive immediate insights into possible conditions. Additionally, the chatbot facilitates on-the-spot scheduling of doctor's appointments.

Our client, K Health, connects patients with medical specialists through an AI-powered, data-driven platform. Utilizing millions of anonymized data entries, their symptom checker instantly provides accurate diagnosis and treatment advice.

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Vention participated in developing an integrated health platform called Dialogue. The solution allows users to assess their symptoms and get care at any point by the most comfortable means, along with keeping track of their recovery progress.

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How chatbots can improve healthcare

Improved consultations

A study featured in JAMA Internal Medicine on chatbot responses within a social media setting discovered that chatbot responses received higher ratings for quality and empathy than those from licensed healthcare professionals.

Researchers from the University of California San Diego, Bryn Mawr College, and Johns Hopkins University presented 195 patient queries to evaluators. The findings showed a strong preference for chatbot responses in 78.6 percent of cases, underscoring the potential of technology to offer compassionate and informed healthcare support.

Control over mental state

In 2020, a group of psychologists investigated how a fully automated empathetic chatbot influenced users’ moods following social exclusion. The research aimed to test whether the chatbot could lessen the adverse emotional effects of such experiences.

Results showed that participants engaging with the chatbot exhibited a more positive mood after social exclusion than those in the control group. This pioneering research underscores the potential of chatbots in managing the psychological impact of social exclusion and emphasizes the essential role of empathy in digital interactions.

Patient education

In 2023, PubMed released a study assessing AI chatbots' efficacy as educational aids in public health, particularly in vaccination.

Thirty-six fifth-year medical students were tested on a vaccination module from the Italian National Medical Residency Exam, after which AI chatbots corrected their answers. Next, AI chatbots (Bing Chat, ChatGPT, Chatsonic, Google Bard, and YouChat) provided detailed corrections.

The study showed AI chatbots significantly outperformed medical students, scoring an average of 12.22 versus 8.22 out of 15. Students expressed high satisfaction with this method of learning, highlighting the potential benefits of responsibly using AI chatbots to augment medical education.

ai chatbots in the healthcare industry_03

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Future of AI chatbots in healthcare

As chatbots continue to revolutionize the healthcare industry, their evolving technology is poised to introduce even more dynamic functionality and versatility in the near future.

Personalized health coaching

AI chatbots have the potential to transform into personalized health coaches, providing customized guidance on diet, exercise, medication adherence, disease management, and lifestyle adjustments. These chatbots would adjust recommendations according to individual health data and preferences.

Precision medicine support

Chatbots could advance precision medicine efforts by offering insights into genetic profiles, personalized treatment choices, and potential medication interactions — all based on an individual's distinct genetic composition.

Integration with wearable devices

Future AI healthcare chatbots could seamlessly merge with wearable devices and smart sensors, facilitating real-time tracking of vital signs, activity levels, and other health metrics. This integration promises to deliver deeper health insights, enhancing overall healthcare analysis.

Multimodal interfaces

AI chatbots have the capability to harness multimodal interfaces, seamlessly merging voice commands, text inputs, and visual cues to facilitate more comprehensive and engaging communication experiences. The result is enhanced accessibility for users with varying preferences and needs.

Blockchain integration for data security

Leveraging blockchain technology can bolster patient data's security, accuracy, and confidentiality. Chatbots could employ decentralized and transparent data storage systems, promoting trust and adherence to privacy regulations.

Emotional intelligence and mental health support

AI chatbots equipped with advanced emotional intelligence can offer empathetic assistance for mental health concerns. Such bots can recognize emotional signals in user interactions and provide suitable interventions or facilitate connections with mental health experts.

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Insights from our expert
Eugene Kruglik-4
Healthcare development expert
Insights from our expert

With the help of NLP, AI chatbots enable medical staff to quickly gather and analyze patient medical data. And this isn’t science fiction; it’s happening now.

Chatbots assist in extracting pertinent cases from patients' medical histories, allowing for faster and more precise diagnoses. Plus, these chatbots are evolving to provide basic medical advice, offering support to patients when their healthcare providers are unavailable.

By communicating with healthcare organizations and establishments by FHIR and HL7 standards, these products can also gather additional medical data to improve — leading to faster, more precise medical guidance.

FDA, EMA, and NHS are already implementing frameworks for AI technologies in the healthcare sector. If you want to get a head start on your competitors, what are you waiting for?”

Healthcare chatbot development company that cares

Armed with more than two decades of chatbot development expertise, our team is primed to transform deep insights into exceptional outcomes.

20+

years of experience in software development

Solutions compliant with all major healthcare regulations, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITECH

Advanced integrations with AI, big data, IoT, and other forefront technologies

200

healthcare projects completed for the likes of Thirty Madison and Yale School of Medicine

Dedicated AI development department

Robust security measures endorsed by an ISO 27001 certification

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Testimonials
Alexis Smirnov
Alexis Smirnov
Chief Technology Officer of Dialogue
Testimonials

Nearly three years into our business, we were managing tens of thousands of patients. 

We were pressured in terms of delivering a quality patient experience and maintaining an appropriate internal support system… With their help, we’re able to run our integrations and deployments with more efficiency. Currently, we’re launching updates every two weeks."

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