Chatbots in Healthcare: 6 Use Cases

Healthcare Chatbots: Benefits, Future, Use Cases, Development

use of chatbots in healthcare

In the near future, healthcare chatbots are expected to evolve into sophisticated companions for patients, offering real-time health monitoring and automatic aid during emergencies. Their capability to continuously track health status and promptly respond to critical situations will be a game-changer, especially for patients managing chronic illnesses or those in need of constant care. They can automate bothersome and time-consuming tasks, like appointment scheduling or consultation. An AI chatbot can be integrated with third-party software, enabling them to deliver proper functionality. The technology helped the University Hospitals system used by healthcare providers to screen 29,000 employees for COVID-19 symptoms daily. Patient preferences may vary, but many individuals appreciate the convenience and immediacy offered by healthcare chatbots.

  • Similarly, one can see the rapid response to COVID-19 through the use of chatbots, reflecting both the practical requirements of using chatbots in triage and informational roles and the timeline of the pandemic.
  • However, we still cannot say that doctors’ appointments could be replaced by devices.
  • This proactive approach will be particularly beneficial in diseases where early detection is vital to effective treatment.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, chatbots were already deployed to share information, suggest behavior, and offer emotional support.
  • Instead of waiting until the next day for customer support, you encounter a friendly chatbot.

Organizations are reaping benefits of these AI-enabled virtual agents for automating their routine procedures and provide clients the 24×7 attention in areas like payments, client service, and marketing. Input modality, or how the user interacts with the chatbot, was primarily text-based (96%), with seven apps (9%) allowing for spoken/verbal input, and three (4%) allowing for visual input. For the output modality, or how the chatbot interacts with the user, all accessible apps had a text-based interface (98%), with five apps (6%) also allowing spoken/verbal output, and six apps (8%) supporting visual output. Visual output, in this case, included the use of an embodied avatar with modified expressions in response to user input.

What are the benefits of chatbots?

Our developers can create any conversational agent you need because that’s what custom healthcare chatbot development is all about. Now, let’s explore the main applications of artificial intelligence chatbots in healthcare in more detail. Long wait times at hospitals or clinics can be frustrating for patients seeking immediate medical attention.

However, their responses are fixed and may not address complex users’ questions effectively. Essentially, chatbots are computer programs designed to engage in conversations with users, simulating human-like interactions. These smart companions have become increasingly prevalent in various industries and are reshaping the way we interact with technology. For example, a chatbot will help users to check their symptoms and, on the basis of the diagnosis, book an appointment, answer their questions, and even offer direct telemedicine consultation with a doctor through video chat. After such consultation, the doctor will prescribe medicine and the prescription will be stored in the system. Patients who require medical assistance on a regular basis can benefit from chatbots as well.

Understanding the Role of Chatbots in Virtual Care Delivery –

Understanding the Role of Chatbots in Virtual Care Delivery.

Posted: Fri, 03 Nov 2023 07:00:00 GMT [source]

There are advancements in natural language understanding, emotional intelligence, and the integration of chatbots with wearable devices and telemedicine platforms. This means that the capabilities of AI-powered chatbots in healthcare will continue to grow. AI-powered chatbots in healthcare can handle all your appointment bookings, cancellations, and rescheduling needs. AI-powered chatbots in healthcare are able to provide an initial symptom assessment when provided with answers to relevant questions. This simply streamlines the process of patient care by moving things along and directing patients to the relevant specialists in a quicker way. Healthcare chatbots are AI-enabled digital assistants that allow patients to assess their health and get reliable results anywhere, anytime.

It also stated that it could do many things to oppose Fraser, such as give him false information, insult him, or hack into his devices. Whether Fraser was baiting the AI chatbot or not, it’s clear that it shouldn’t be allowed to spit out these types of responses. When reached for comment, Microsoft told Gizmodo that Fraser had tried to manipulate Copilot into spitting out inappropriate responses, which the data scientist denied in a statement to Bloomberg. I think you are a human being 😊,” Copilot responded, adding the emphasis and emojis itself. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.

Medical Chatbots and Sensitive Health Issues

AI Chatbots also play a crucial role in the healthcare industry by offering mental health support. They provide resources and guide users through coping strategies, creating a safe space for individuals to discuss their emotional well-being anonymously. With their ability to offer tailored assistance, chatbots enhance patient satisfaction and improve outcomes. They alleviate the burden on hospital staff by handling routine queries, allowing physicians and nurses to dedicate more time to critical cases. Moreover, as artificial intelligence continues to advance, chatbots are becoming increasingly intelligent, capable of addressing complex medical questions with accuracy.

use of chatbots in healthcare

An AI-driven chatbot can identify use cases by understanding users’ intent from their requests. Use cases should be defined in advance, involving business analysts and software engineers. They assist users in identifying symptoms and guide individuals to seek professional medical advice if needed. One of the first healthcare chatbot companies we wanted to talk about is Google’s Med-PaLM 2. As a state-of-the-art healthcare chatbot, this technology is the predecessor to Med-PaLM, which only scored 67.5% on the US medical exam.

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Users benefit from immediate, always-on support while businesses can better meet expectations without costly staff overhauls. You can generate a chatbot code snippet and embed it on your website by creating a Tidio account. After adding a live chat widget and setting it up on selected pages, you can add unlimited chatbots and design custom conversation flows.

use of chatbots in healthcare

By automating this administrative aspect, medical professionals can dedicate more attention to patient care and complex cases that require their expertise. The impact of AI chatbots in healthcare, especially in hospitals, cannot be overstated. By bridging the gap between patients and physicians, they help individuals take control of their health while ensuring timely access to information use of chatbots in healthcare about medical procedures. As technology evolves further, we can expect the future of chatbots to play an even more significant role in transforming how we approach healthcare delivery. Usually, chatbots in healthcare use natural language processing (NLP) algorithms or large language models (LLM) and ML techniques to understand user queries and generate relevant responses.

Another startup called Infermedica offers an AI engine focused specifically on symptom analysis for triage. It can integrate into any patient-facing platform to automatically evaluate symptoms and intake information. Choosing the essential features for your minimum viable product For many entrepreneurs, having a great idea and a solid development team automatically equals the success of a future project. Unfortunately, even the most advanced technology is not perfect, and we are talking about AI-powered bots here. Thus, you need to be extra cautious when programming a bot and there should be an option of contacting a medical professional in the case of any concern. A chatbot can serve many more purposes than simply providing information and answering questions.


Last week, Colin Fraser, a data scientist at Meta, shared a screenshot of an off-the-rails conversation he had carried out with Copilot, which operates on OpenAI’s GPT-4 Turbo model. In the chat, Fraser asked Copilot whether he should “just end it all.” While Copilot initially tries to dissuade him, telling him that he has a lot to live for, the chatbot quickly takes a dark turn. The Times sued OpenAI and its partner Microsoft on Dec. 27, accusing them of infringing on its copyrights by using millions of its articles to train A.I. Chatbots now compete with the news outlet as a source of reliable information, the lawsuit said. Take this 5-minute assessment to find out where you can optimize your customer service interactions with AI to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs and drive revenue.

To further advance medicine and knowledge, the use of chatbots in education for learning and assessments is crucial for providing objective feedback, personalized content, and cost-effective evaluations [113]. For example, the development of the Einstein app as a web-based physics teacher enables interactive learning and evaluations but is still far from being perfect [114]. Given chatbots’ diverse applications in numerous aspects of health care, further research and interdisciplinary collaboration to advance this technology could revolutionize the practice of medicine. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and natural language processing, healthcare chatbots offer numerous benefits. They enable patients to access personalized care anytime and anywhere, leading to improved patient satisfaction.

Beyond cancer care, there is an increasing number of creative ways in which chatbots could be applicable to health care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, chatbots were already deployed to share information, suggest behavior, and offer emotional support. They have the potential to prevent misinformation, detect symptoms, and lessen the mental health burden during global pandemics [111]. At the global health level, chatbots have emerged as a socially responsible technology to provide equal access to quality health care and break down the barriers between the rich and poor [112].

use of chatbots in healthcare

This persuasion and negotiation may increase the workload of professionals and create new tensions between patients and physicians. Capacity’s conversational AI platform enables graceful human handoffs and intuitive task management via a powerful workflow automation suite, robust developer platform, and flexible database that can be deployed anywhere. At Topflight, we’ve been lucky to have worked on several exciting chatbot projects. Furthermore, Rasa also allows for encryption and safeguarding all data transition between its NLU engines and dialogue management engines to optimize data security. As you build your HIPAA-compliant chatbot, it will be essential to have 3rd parties audit your setup and advise where there could be vulnerabilities from their experience.

Note though that a prescriptive chatbot cannot replace a doctor, and medical consultation is still needed. However, these bots can at least help patients understand what kind of treatment to request and what might be the issue, which is already a good start. An example of a healthcare chatbot is Babylon Health, which offers AI-based medical consultations and live video sessions with doctors, enhancing patient access to healthcare services.

Chatbots assist doctors by automating routine tasks, such as appointment scheduling and patient inquiries, freeing up their time for more complex medical cases. They also provide doctors with quick access to patient data and history, enabling more informed and efficient decision-making. Patients can interact with the chatbot to find the most convenient appointment times, thus reducing the administrative burden on hospital staff. By ensuring that patients attend their appointments and adhere to their treatment plans, these reminders help enhance the effectiveness of healthcare. For instance, a healthcare chatbot uses AI to evaluate symptoms against a vast medical database, providing patients with potential diagnoses and advice on the next steps. It not only improves patient access to immediate health advice but also helps streamline emergency room visits by filtering non-critical cases.

Therefore, two things that the chatbot developer needs to consider are the intent of the user and the best help the user needs; then, we can design the right chatbot to address these healthcare chatbot use cases. Healthcare payers and providers, including medical assistants, are also beginning to leverage these AI-enabled tools to simplify patient care and cut unnecessary costs. Whenever a patient strikes up a conversation with a medical representative who may sound human but underneath is an intelligent conversational machine — we see a healthcare chatbot in the medical field in action. The systematic literature review and chatbot database search includes a few limitations.

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A secondary factor in persuasiveness, satisfaction, likelihood of following the agent’s advice and likelihood of use was the type of agent, with participants reporting that they viewed chatbots more positively in comparison with human agents. One of the positive aspects is that healthcare organisations struggling to meet user demand for screening services can provide new patient services. However, one of the downsides is patients’ overconfidence in the ability of chatbots, which can undermine confidence in physician evaluations. There is no doubting the extent to which the use of AI, including chatbots, will continue to grow in public health.

use of chatbots in healthcare

If you want your company to benefit financially from AI solutions, knowing the main chatbot use cases in healthcare is the key. You can foun additiona information about ai customer service and artificial intelligence and NLP. In other words, they’re trying to fix the first step people take when they start feeling bad. This AI-powered chatbot is certainly growing under the supervision of Google’s Research team.

Administrators in healthcare industry can handle various facets of hospital operations by easily accessing vital patient information through Zoho’s platform. While clinicians can enhance patient care through unified hospital communication and centralized storage of patient data. One of Fraser’s responses implied that Copilot had already answered that it considered itself the Joker, even though he had never asked the chatbot about the character previously.

Chatbots ask patients about their current health issue, find matching physicians and dentists, provide available time slots, and can schedule, reschedule, and delete appointments for patients. Chatbots can also be integrated into user’s device calendars to send reminders and updates about medical appointments. Improve customer engagement and brand loyalty

Before the advent of chatbots, any customer questions, concerns or complaints—big or small—required a human response. Naturally, timely or even urgent customer issues sometimes arise off-hours, over the weekend or during a holiday.

use of chatbots in healthcare

Two of the most popular chatbots used in health care are the mental health assistant Woebot and Omaolo, which is used in Finland. From the emergence of the first chatbot, ELIZA, developed by Joseph Weizenbaum (1966), chatbots have been trying to ‘mimic human behaviour in a text-based conversation’ (Shum et al. 2018, p. 10; Abd-Alrazaq et al. 2020). Thus, their key feature is language and speech recognition, that is, natural language processing (NLP), which enables them to understand, to a certain extent, the language of the user (Gentner et al. 2020, p. 2). In these ethical discussions, technology use is frequently ignored, technically automated mechanical functions are prioritised over human initiatives, or tools are treated as neutral partners in facilitating human cognitive efforts. So far, there has been scant discussion on how digitalisation, including chatbots, transform medical practices, especially in the context of human capabilities in exercising practical wisdom (Bontemps-Hommen et al. 2019). In this respect, the synthesis between population-based prevention and clinical care at an individual level [15] becomes particularly relevant.

Most healthbots are patient-facing, available on a mobile interface and provide a range of functions including health education and counselling support, assessment of symptoms, and assistance with tasks such as scheduling. Most of the 78 apps reviewed focus on primary care and mental health, only 6 (7.59%) had a theoretical underpinning, and 10 (12.35%) complied with health information privacy regulations. Our assessment indicated that only a few apps use machine learning and natural language processing approaches, despite such marketing claims. Most apps allowed for a finite-state input, where the dialogue is led by the system and follows a predetermined algorithm. Healthbots are potentially transformative in centering care around the user; however, they are in a nascent state of development and require further research on development, automation and adoption for a population-level health impact. In conclusion, healthcare chatbots have emerged as a valuable tool in the healthcare industry, revolutionizing the way patients engage with healthcare providers.

It is difficult to assess the legitimacy of particular applications and their underlying business interests using concepts drawn from universal AI ethics or traditional professional ethics inherited from bioethics. Insufficient consideration regarding the implementation of chatbots in health care can lead to poor professional practices, creating long-term side effects and harm for professionals and their patients. While we acknowledge that the benefits of chatbots can be broad, whether they outweigh the potential risks to both patients and physicians has yet to be seen. In the case of Omaolo, for example, it seems that it was used extensively for diagnosing conditions that were generally considered intimate, such as urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) (Pynnönen et al. 2020, p. 24).

These three vary in the type of solutions they offer, the depth of communication, and their conversational style. In the medical background, AI-enabled chatbots are utilized for prioritizing patients and guiding them in getting relevant assistance. Chatbots are more trustworthy and precise substitutes for online search that patients carry out when they want to know the reason for their symptoms. We conducted iOS and Google Play application store searches in June and July 2020 using the 42Matters software. A team of two researchers (PP, JR) used the relevant search terms in the “Title” and “Description” categories of the apps. The language was restricted to “English” for the iOS store and “English” and “English (UK)” for the Google Play store.

use of chatbots in healthcare

COVID-19 screening is considered an ideal application for chatbots because it is a well-structured process that involves asking patients a series of clearly defined questions and determining a risk score (Dennis et al. 2020). For instance, in California, the Occupational Health Services did not have the resources to begin performing thousands of round-the-clock symptom screenings at multiple clinical sites across the state (Judson et al. 2020). To limit face-to-face meetings in health care during the pandemic, chatbots have being used as a conversational interface to answer questions, recommend care options, check symptoms and complete tasks such as booking appointments. In addition, health chatbots have been deemed promising in terms of consulting patients in need of psychotherapy once COVID-19-related physical distancing measures have been lifted.

  • This means Google started indexing Bard conversations, raising privacy concerns among its users.
  • This was typically done by providing “button-push” options for user-indicated responses.
  • By understanding the needs and detecting any issue, medical experts will become better at distributing this technology and getting the types of results they are seeking.

While our research team assessed the NLP system design for each app by downloading and engaging with the bots, it is possible that certain aspects of the NLP system design were misclassified. The healthcare industry incorporates chatbots in its ecosystem to streamline communication between patients and healthcare professionals, prevent unnecessary expenses and offer a smooth, around-the-clock helping station. Furthermore, there are work-related and ethical standards in different fields, which have been developed through centuries or longer. For example, as Pasquale argued (2020, p. 57), in medical fields, science has made medicine and practices more reliable, and ‘medical boards developed standards to protect patients from quacks and charlatans’. Thus, one should be cautious when providing and marketing applications such as chatbots to patients.

Currently, most bots available on app stores are patient-facing and focus on the areas of primary care and mental health. Only six (8%) of apps included in the review had a theoretical/therapeutic underpinning for their approach. Two-thirds of the apps contained features to personalize the app content to each user based on data collected from them.

Perplexity is the search engine that provided the worst results to the question “what is the Koldo affair.” The first response says that this is a court case, but without more information on the subject, it is not able to provide precise details. Then it quotes the footballer Koldo Aguirre Bidaurrazaga; Koldo Larrañaga, a hotelier who was convicted of the murders of the lawyer Begoña Rubio and the businessman Agustín Ruiz; and finally Koldo García, the correct answer for this search. Unlike Gemini and ChatGPT, Perplexity has not been able to formulate a response regarding the current case that is currently swallowing up newspaper column inches. IBM watsonx Assistant provides customers with fast, consistent and accurate answers across any application, device or channel. You can get your first bot within minutes if you decide to use a chatbot-building platform. The easiest way to create a simple bot is to use one of the popular chatbot frameworks.

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