The world of artificial intelligence (AI) and smart algorithms is experiencing some innovative developments and is increasingly being used in different industries to simplify our lives. With virtual voice assistants like Alexa by Amazon or Siri by Apple, smart algorithm-powered interfaces are multiplying and becoming more widespread across various sectors such as healthcare.
The adoption of chatbots in the healthcare industry is becoming more accepted due to the fact that people are starting to see how they can improve the patients’ experiences. Plus, it allows the automation of various management tasks in overloaded health systems, which results in increased efficiency and productivity rates. We expect the popularity of health bots to grow in the future considering all the investments that are made in artificial intelligence every day and all the benefits businesses and organizations can reap from their use.
A health chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that can mimic human speech to hold a human conversation with a user, either through standalone applications or web applications. These conversational agents simplify interactions between patients and health organizations to improve the customer experience, provide medical advice, answer health questions and automate certain tasks. The uses of healtbots in healthcare are very wide, some examples are direct medical attention, resolution of doubts, collection of clinical data, diagnosis assessment, sale of parapharmacy products, health information on pathologies, etc..
Chatbots offer many other advantages such as having multiple bots integrated in the same chat. They don’t need to be updated or downloaded so they don’t take up a lot of storage. Moreover, chatbots are now surpassing into territories that were exclusively for humans: empathy and emotions. Nowadays, you can find a chatbot that can mimic your friend or therapist, that can have a chat with you, listen to you and even give you some advice in return. Just as a human would.
Health services are becoming more patient-centric so chatbots have a promising future in the healthcare industry. Although the adoption rate is not widespread yet, covid-19 is accelerating the adoption of health chatbots. In order to provide patients with the best services, healthcare companies are including and developing technology-oriented solutions to keep pace with the latest trends and market needs. These healthcare solutions can be of great help to physicians, nurses as well as patients and their families in multiple situations such as medication guidance, symptom checks, first aid situations and simpler medical queries.
In cases where chatbot can’t help patients, they can connect them with physicians or clinicians for further diagnosis or treatment. However, the general idea here is that in the future, these talking or texting smart algorithms will become the first contact point between patients and healthcare services. People will start to automatically turn to chatbots first, and then go to real-life doctors after these medical helpers have completed their duties.
One of the major concern with these type of chatbot is information governance. Since they handle very sensitive data, you must make sure the solution you are choosing has been proven to be careful with data.
As the number of health chatbots has witnessed an incredible rise, we’ve decided to present you the most promising ones that are empowering interactive and smart healthcare for the upcoming year:
Founded in 2013, Sensely’s chatbot named Molly is a virtual medical assistant that can assess a patient’s symptoms using both text and speech communication. Sensely’s algorithm has a feature that recognizes spoken words and responds to them adequately. When patients report their symptoms, Sensely runs the data and information gathered through its algorithm to analyze the patients’ condition and recommend a diagnosis. Patients can also share images and videos with Molly to deliver a more precise diagnosis.
Sensely uses a color triage system to determine the emergency of a case. The color shown helps identify the level of emergency, and whether self-care is enough for a patient or if they should see a doctor. Additionally, the chatbot offers plenty of self-care resources and local services.
Babylon Health is a British subscription service that was founded in 2013 and operates as a mobile-based healthcare application. Its platform allows patients to have remote consultations with doctors and healthcare professionals via text messages and video messaging.
Babylon Health also has a “symptom checker” chatbot that analyzes patients’ symptoms against a database of diseases in order to provide a relevant diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If necessary, the patient can have a live video chat with a real doctor that can prescribe drugs, refer to a health specialist or book a health exam. The application is operational in the UK and Rwanda and plans to expand its operations to China, the US and the Middle East.
Founded by a team of doctors and computer scientists in 2014, Buoy Health’s is trained to assist patients in diagnosing their symptoms using an algorithm backed by real medical data.
The data includes 5 million patients and around 1,700 conditions.
Buoy’s chatbot thoroughly asks the patient about their symptoms in order to give out a list of potential diagnoses and what to do next. It uses advanced artificial intelligence to communicate with the patients in a way that resembles a conversation with a doctor. The chatbot analyzes the patient’s answers in real-time, decides the most relevant questions to ask and offers appropriate solutions.
Founded in 2010, HealthTap’s mission is to make healthcare knowledge accessible and completely free to all. In order to achieve that, they have created a chatbot linked to Facebook Messenger where patients can send their health-related questions which are then reviewed and answered by doctors and physicians.
HealthTap’s services are provided through a mobile application and help connect patients or any other person that requires medical information to a network of doctors and healthcare professionals. This network gathers more than 6000 physicians and 600 healthcare institutions and ensures accurate, real-time solutions to health issues. If the recommendation made by the chatbot is insufficient, the patient can ask for a video live consultation on the app.
Infermedica is a Polish chatbot founded in 2012 that regroups multiple health-related artificial intelligence solutions for healthcare institutions. The symptom checker chatbot called Symptomate is an online chatbot that can be used on a website as well as a mobile phone application. It assesses the patient’s health status in order to gain preliminary information regarding possible conditions, and then based on the symptoms; it can either set up a possible diagnosis and recommended actions or make an appointment with a suitable doctor.
Another one of Infermedica’s tools is HealthLoop, which is a platform that enables medical physicians to monitor signs and symptoms and follow up with patients during their recovery period. To date, Infermedica has conducted more than 3 million diagnostic interviews with different patients.
This German health chatbot has been found to be one of the most featured chatbots out there. In fact, ADA health is an operational mobile application that can assess the user’s health based on a description of indicated symptoms. The user then receives a personalized medical feedback and possible treatment based on its vast AI database and inputs received by medical professionals.
ADA Health’s ambition is to become a standard diagnostic tool for doctors, helping patients and doctors to enable predictive and proactive care. The company is looking to expand its services with a voice interface and has already begun trials with Alexa by Amazon.
This award winning chatbot was made in 2013 and recognized in 2017 as “innovations that can improve society”. This free platform available on iOs, Android, Facebook Messenger, Kik, Telegram and as a website, is built to offer its users information on how to identify the symptoms of an illness, how to eventually treat it, and what steps to take to remedy it (when to go see a doctor, etc.).
This personalized health assistant relies on accurate medical resources and algorithms to guide you and help you understand your condition. It is also an excellent source if you are looking for pharmacies, test centers, doctor’s offices, recommendations and more.
Woebot is an artificially intelligent chatbot specialized in mental health issues. The company’s chatbot offers a safe space for people who are suffering from mental illness such as depression, anxiety or any other mental health issue so that they can talk about their emotional challenges and deal with them in a liberating and stigma-free environment.
Woebot’s algorithm is trained to provide a clinical approach to such mental illnesses using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), based on the context of the patient’s messages. The chatbot analyzes the patient’s mood, personality and suggests remedies as a therapist. Patients actually find it more comfortable to talk to a chatbot rather than a human therapist. The solution is available in more than 130 countries around the world and aims to give quality mental health support to anyone that is struggling.
The CancerChatbot by CSource is a Facebook Messenger chatbot that gathers in one place all detailed information about cancer and related topics. Whenever the user types any query, the chatbot fetches data from resources supplied by cancer patients, their families and friends.
This chatbot does not only offer plenty of help and support to cancer patients regarding chemo tips and other free services but also provides useful information and resources for their caregivers, family members and friends. In fact, it gives advice to friends and families on how to talk to a patient and how to help them during their treatment.
SafedrugBot is a chatbot powered by Telegram that offers assistant-like service to health professionals and doctors to help them provide valuable guidance and monitor drug dosage for women during breastfeeding. It acts as an assistant that provides medical users with accurate data regarding active ingredients present in the medication, dosage and alternatives. This way, professionals can prescribe patients precisely.
This chatbot basically plays the role of a personal nurse during a patient’s stay in a hospital. Florence works on Facebook Messenger, Skype or Kik, and is able to remind patients to take pills by sending messages at the exact time they must take them. It can also help them with other health-related topics such as keeping track of their body weight, menstrual periods and more. The chatbot has additional features such as finding the nearest pharmacy or doctor if needed.
Gyant is another symptom checker chatbot available on Facebook messenger and Amazon’s Alexa. The chatbot asks patients about their symptoms and then sends the information to licensed doctors who can provide a reliable diagnosis and treatment in real-time. The algorithm also makes recommendations based on accurate confirmed medical data. Gyant’s chatbot can also speak to patients in different languages such as Spanish, Portuguese or German.
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