The Future of Healthcare: Conversational AI-Enabled Support

welocalize • September 13, 2022. Conversational AI-driven chatbots and support assistants are becoming so important for customer interaction, changing the landscape of customer service and support. Trained with rich, locale specific datasets, a multilingual artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot can provide help and support to customers worldwide, 24/7.

Using AI technologies, such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML), these chatbots carried out conversations with human users, understanding intent, context, and sentiment, to ensure the correct response.

The Growth of Conversational AI

The global conversational AI market reached US$6.9 billion in 2021, estimated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 23.4% to US$29.9 billion by 2028. This growth is driven by the demand for better customer support, increasing its adoption in verticals, such as healthcare and life sciences.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced organizations to deploy conversational AI due to the spike in customer service requests. Therefore, businesses worldwide have accelerated their use of AI and software solutions to optimize and complement the customer service already on offer.

How Humans and AI Can Work Together

Despite its proven usefulness, there is some reluctance to adopt AI technologies. There is a misconception that AI will workers altogether. However, there are limits to what AI can do. Understanding that chatbots and virtual assistants are not capable of replacing humans, organizations are increasingly more accepting of conversational AI.

Instead of being seen as a threat, conversational AI works alongside humans to help improve customer engagement, save time, costs, and deliver better services. Chatbots can work to handle basic queries and common, repetitive questions, allowing human agents to deal with more complex issues.

Conversational AI in Healthcare

Many different organizations, verticals, and industries worldwide are beginning to see the huge opportunities offered by chatbots and virtual assistants.

Within life sciences and healthcare services, conversational AI was critical during the coronavirus pandemic, serving as healthcare front-liners available to patients 24/7. Chatbots and virtual assistants checked symptoms, scheduled appointments, answered frequently asked questions, escalated emergency cases, and sent reminders to patients.

Here are some of the benefits AI-enabled applications can offer within healthcare and the life sciences industry:

Increase Patient Engagement

Patient engagement has been called the “blockbuster drug of the century.” Those actively engaged with their healthcare have better health outcomes. They make better decisions about their health, stick to their appointments, and have an improved quality of life.

TeleVox and Kelton Research revealed that 83% of Americans don’t follow their prescribed treatment plans, and 42% feel they would comply more with their treatment plan if they got encouragement between visits.

Chatbots can help to bridge this gap. They can provide people looking for healthcare information, such as listing options for providers, assessing their symptoms, and updating them about their test results. They can also send reminders to patients about their next doctor’s appointment, track their progress toward their health goals, and prompt them to perform specific actions to help them stick to their treatment plan.

Save Time and Money

AI applications can save organizations billions! The savings from virtual assistants are around US$20 billion annually. According to Accenture, it estimates the U.S. healthcare economy stands to save around US$150 billion annually by 2026. Conversational AI helps save time and money for both consumers and service providers by delivering faster, more timely healthcare services. Patients can get the information they need faster. They can book appointments faster, and through triaging, can take more immediate action for emergency cases.

Savings for Patients

Sometimes, a doctor’s visit is unnecessary. Instead of going to a clinic or hospital for non-emergency cases, people can interact online with a healthcare chatbot to understand their symptoms and take the appropriate action.

Chatbots are also a better alternative to calling customer support regarding basic information. They can save time waiting in a long queue to talk to someone. Chatbots are available anytime, all the time.

Savings for Healthcare Providers

Organizations can save money by shifting resources from their call center to conversational AI. Chatbot interactions cost much less than the traditional customer support services. Conversational AI offers an always-available, instant, and more consistent user experience.

For healthcare professionals, conversational AI can cut down the time for administrative tasks and reduce operational costs. Employees can use the same chatbot platform to submit requests, get updates, download forms, check status, access lab reports, and review schedules. And they don’t have to call different departments to get information.

They can also use conversational AI for internal record-keeping and keeping track of hospital resources, such as wheelchairs and blood pressure cuffs. Chatbots can free up significant time for workers to focus on critical tasks and higher-value work.

24/7 Availability

Limited office or hospital hours restrict the ability of patients to interact with healthcare workers and other employees. Chatbots are available all the time. For swamped healthcare providers, conversational AI is a significant boon in serving as the first line of service.

Wider Reach

Chatbots can be available in multiple languages. Healthcare providers may be serving patients who prefer interacting in Spanish or Chinese, for example. Global healthcare institutions that attract patients worldwide must also deploy a multilingual chatbot to cater to non-English speaking customers.

Multilingual conversational AI allows healthcare providers to reach and support a wider audience. It also enhances the customer experience and supports better health outcomes for patients who are more comfortable conversing in their native language.

Greater Accuracy and Consistency

Instead of manually updating records across different systems, chatbots can be integrated with other systems. As such, patient data is easily accessible, accurate, and consistent.

Consistent Experience

Talking to different human agents can lead to various customer experiences. These can be in the form of conflicting information or contrasting behavior, however, this will not happen with conversational AI. AI-powered chatbots that use machine learning improve over time and deliver a more consistent user experience.

Multilingual Conversational AI

When serving consumers that speak in other languages should consider deploying a multilingual chatbot. Consumers prefer self-service to find solutions to their problems instead of speaking to a customer service agent. They want speed and convenience. At the same time, they want to interact with brands in their language.

Adding multilingual support for conversational AI adds another layer of complexity. This is where a language service provider (LSP) with deep experience in conversational AI comes in.

Learn More

Learn more about the various use cases for conversational AI in healthcare and deploying multilingual conversational AI. Download our whitepaper: Navigating the Future of Healthcare with Conversational AI.

For insights on leveraging multilingual chatbots and digital assistants to deliver global customer service, download our guide, The Power of Localization and AI in Customer Support and Online Help.

Welocalize develops high-quality conversational AI multilingual training data sets, so you can create conversational AI systems that understand text and speech in multiple languages. For more information about Welocalize AI solutions, connect with us here.

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