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Healthcare Chatbots: Pros and Cons

Do you remember when using chatbots was synonymous with inefficient virtual assistance? Before artificial intelligence and machine learning evolved to the standards they show today, chatbots had the peculiarity of leaving more doubts than solutions for the user. But what happens when their use involves people's health? Is its implementation convenient knowing that there are still important areas for improvement? Discover it here.

Do you remember the days when using chatbots was synonymous with inefficient virtual assistance? Before artificial intelligence and machine learning evolved to the standards they show today, chatbots had the peculiarity of leaving more doubts than solutions for the user. But what happens when their use involves people's health? Is its implementation convenient knowing that there are still important areas for improvement? Discover it here.

Like chatbots, the healthcare sector is going through a moment of unprecedented technological evolution.

As a result of the increase in mobile devices and the unusual development of software dedicated to various sectors, decision makers are implementing (or considering implementing) the largest number of technological tools that allow them to automate processes and optimize resources, especially if it is focussed on workforce and, although it is difficult to believe, the healthcare industry is not exempt from this need.

In the constant quest for new ways to care for patients without having to go to a face-to-face consultation, the healthcare sector has had to speed up its modernization and digital transformation processes, which represents a new way for patients to receive medical care at any time and place, even when they are in an emergency.

Based on artificial intelligence and the automated responses it generates, the healthcare sector uses chatbots to maintain a conversation with the patient through algorithms and focuses on the goal of offering a prompt solution to their questions based on their responses, symptoms or seriousness.

After knowing their functional bases, is it feasible or not to use these resources when people's health is at stake? Let's take a look at the following comparison chart:

Healthcare Chatbots

Pros 

  • Availability 24x7.
  • The waiting time is shorter (estimated in two minutes on average).
  • Generation of answers and monitoring of the patient in real time.
  • The level of profitability increases considerably.
  • Simplification of tasks that can be repetitive.
  • Medical appointment scheduling assistant.
  • Improvement in the user experience.
  • Automation of response to doubts or recurring symptoms.
  • Possibility of transfer to a professional for personalized help after several unsuccessful response attempts.
  • Generation of automated reports.
  • Decreased person-person interactions demand.
  • Less spread of diseases due to the cancellation of physical contact.
  • Contact Center optimization.
  • Timely monitoring and follow-up of the patient.
  • Scalability of functionalities according to the user experience and data collected.
  • Improvement in patient satisfaction.

Cons

  • It is difficult for them to respond to complex health care problems, such as chronic degenerative diseases.
  • Usability and user experience can be complicated due to the niche and generational gap that the software is targeting.
  • No guarantee of direct care by a doctor when necessary.
  • Incomplete solutions.
  • Complex implementation time and long optimizations.
  • Constant maintenance based on knowledge, new ailments and information collected from users.
  • Decrease in an agile response in terms of mental health diseases.
  • Difficult detection of risk situations for the patient.
  • During non-working hours, medical guidance depends entirely on virtual assistance.
  • The line is very thin when it comes to improving diagnostic accuracy and failing due to lack of physical contact.
  • Possibility of generating a negative impact on the skills of health professionals due to the lack of contact between patients and medical colleagues.

Chatbots: concretizing the evolution of digital health

Now that you know all the advantages and possible disadvantages that this tool represents for the healthcare sector, you can undoubtedly glimpse the endless opportunities that it also symbolizes around patient care and health; they are essential despite the fact that there is a long way to go in their improvement.

By implementing technologies as advanced as chatbots, the medical industry has the responsibility to offer tools that cover all ethical, legal and professional aspects from the point of view of the well-being of users, that is, the patients.

Likewise, they must have the capacity to respond to the needs of clinics or hospitals, since their implementation must result in the optimization of costs and resources, as well as in the efficiency of the productivity of healthcare professionals and improve the rate of mortality of each patient.

A fundamental aspect in the creation of these software platforms focused on providing efficient medical care from any device, the security of information and privacy of patient data must be included as basic aspects in their operation, since the medical industry runs an unavoidable risk of suffering hackings that endanger the integrity and health of the patient in the event that said transgression is successful.

And why not expect the detection of emotions and decrease in the lack of empathy towards patients in the use of chatbots? Like all technological tools, these resources continue to advance, and at some point they may provide that degree of intelligence and play in favor of remote medical diagnoses.

At Icalia Labs we never stop working on the sophistication of the digital solutions that the health sector uses to reach technological maturity, which is why we always work on digital solutions that translate into important advances for this sector, so relevant to everyday life.

Our work speaks for us. We build software solutions focused on the medical industry that translate into solid and trustworthy relationships between patients and medical professionals, so we invite you to approach our experts and find out everything we can do to improve the operation of your business.

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