Technology

How Chatbots and AI are Changing the Healthcare Industry

We can all agree that technology has changed the healthcare industry. Researchers and doctors are on the verge of making history. Technology has transformed how care is administered in and out of care facilities and how doctor and patient communicate. AI and chatbots have leading roles in this transformation.

In this article we’re going to talk about the transformation that the technology has brought in the healthcare industry. But before you start reading this article, why don’t you take a short detour and go through these brief reads about languages for cloud enterprise development and best software outsourcing destinations

What’s a Chatbot?

As is clear from the name, which looks like a combination of two words, chat and bot, it is a program that’s designed to stimulate conversation. What’s important here isn’t the conversation itself but the independence from a human operator. 

You might be surprised to know but chatbots aren’t that modern an invention. In fact, before Alexa and Siri there was Eliza, a first ever chatbot, made in the 1960’s. 

Role of Chatbot in Healthcare

 In an interview a revered doctor based in London said that 3 out of 5 visits to the doctor would be not required if the patient had all the necessary information. He further said that we can essentially remove the need to go to doctor only for self-care once the chatbots are fully developed and functioning. 

The reduction in the visit rate to the hospital will be as much as 60% once chatbots are functioning as good as the practitioners. In fact chatbots are already in use for getting feedback from patients about their general health and for making symptom based diagnosis. 

Chatbots use the information they receive from the hundreds to thousands of interaction between patient and doctor. This improves their accuracy. The purpose of doing this is to enable people to receive proper medical care in less money and less time without the help of human medical professional.

When it comes to medical care, chatbots are not only stuck in diagnosis, as impressive as that is, they can also act as excellent digital therapists. A woebot is designed to talk like a human and ask leading questions, so that the patient can openly talk about their troubles. This means that you can talk about anything without having to worry about being judged. 

We have to understand that chatbots do not yet operate at the intelligence level of human. They are in development and learning stage and are prone to making mistakes, the cost of which only we can understand. Most chatbots only understand text and can’t tell apart pictures and voices. But when that day comes, chatbots will help us save billions of dollars in the medicine industry alone.

What’s AI?

AI, as all of our readers might know, stands for artificial intelligence. Intelligence here doesn’t refer to how fast one can do calculations or how vast the general knowledge of someone is, it means the simple human behavior. 

So artificial intelligence is the power of robots or computer programs to perform like intelligent beings, such as humans. This term is used for systems that involve development of intellectual processes that only humans possess, such as reasoning, learning from past experiences and generalizing. 

Since computers were developed in the 1940’s, they were expected to carry out complex tasks. But the development of AI has rather been slow. Despite the advances being made in technology there are no programs that can match the human intelligence. 

Role of AI in Healthcare

Hospitals and doctor’s offices regularly generate and store large amounts of data from various procedures that go on in there. The healthcare facilities and institutes are always in need of a way to analyze this important information. AI has proven very useful at this juncture. 

By bringing machine learning in practice, we can detect patterns that human professionals miss. This development pushes prevention way ahead than expected. FDA (food and drug administration) admits that AI promises huge developments in the future of medicine. FDA is even supporting the development of AI-based technology by putting together a new regulatory framework for this purpose.  

However, experts expect the biggest change in the security sector of healthcare industry brought in by AI. Patient health data and identity information is very sensitive but there is no proper mechanism for its protection in most hospitals. 

According to the CEO of a popular computer technology corp, 85% of the breaches that occur, happen because of the vulnerabilities in the system. It is not surprising that hackers are targeting healthcare industry more than others. 

More than 42% of the security breaches that occurred were in the health industry in the past three years. The healthcare industry also reports that in the past two years 91% of the healthcare facilities reported security breach. This is staggering stats. 

This brings us to our main point of this discussion that our healthcare facilities desperately need an upgraded digital security system. And it seems that our hope is in the AI in this regard. Cloud based autonomous solutions will get rid of these risks in an instant. We can only expect FDA to support the upgrading of the outdated security system of the healthcare industry. 

Advantages of AI and Chatbots in Healthcare

Let us just summarize the benefits of the advancing technology in the healthcare industry once more.

  • Less burden on medical practitioners
  • Saving finances
  • Better experience and patient empowerment
  • Improvement in disease prevention through earlier diagnosis
  • Reduction in security breaches
  • Better communication among patients and doctors

Conclusion

Chatbots and AI are improving day by day and that’s all thanks to their core which is based on machine learning. As chatbots start understanding symptoms and get better at it and make diagnosis based on it there will be little need for patients to visit doctors or wait long for it. AI also has many applications for the healthcare industry but the biggest part it can play is in making the sensitive patient information more secure. The healthcare industry overall is welcoming the developments the chatbots and AI technology is making and is ready to accept and implement it. 

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