While some feel chatbots are not persuasive enough, the technology has shown great promise in handling patient demands and has often been considered more pleasant than human agents
FREMONT, CA: The healthcare industry for long has been highly influenced by technology. In recent years, disruptive technologies like Artificial Intelligence and telehealth have become buzzwords in the industry. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, AI tools have played a pivotal role in helping researchers and healthcare workers identify hotspots and prepare for potential resource gaps. This has helped better understand the virus risk factors. Keeping in mind the progress made by the technology in dealing with the pandemic, the healthcare industry is now looking to leverage AI to tackle patient anxiety.
Chatbot technology has been used significantly to attend to patient queries. While some feel chatbots are not persuasive enough, the technology has shown great promise in handling patient demands and has often been considered more pleasant than human agents. This could have promising implications for healthcare organizations struggling to meet user demands for screening processes. One of the most significant advantages of chatbot technology is its ability to make patients less anxious about seeking medical health. With chatbots, patients are comfortable disclosing information that they would not be able to share with human agents as there is no judgment involved.
The CDC, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and other health organizations caution that the COVID-19 outbreak has provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviors against people of specific ethnic backgrounds and those perceived to have been in contact with the virus. This is truly an unfortunate situation, and perhaps chatbots can assist those who are hesitant to seek help because of the stigma.
Chatbot technologies have been pegged to be the technology that can accelerate the patient-provider interactions and online searches for medical information, even before the pandemic. They are scalable and can meet an unexpected surge in demand when there is a shortage of qualified human agents. Chatbots can provide round the clock operational services at lower operational costs.
One of the main factors behind a user’s perceptions of ability is the user’s trust in the screening hotline provider. It is necessary to inform the users of the chatbots’ abilities proactively. Users need to understand that chatbots use the same up-to-date knowledge base and follow the same set of screening protocols as human agents.