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Healthcare Chatbot Development
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Healthcare is a sensitive and highly debated subject in many countries. On top of the list of the many problems associated with this sector are cost and quality. New technological advancements often provide an opportunity to address these concerns. One such technology that is quite promising today is Artificial Intelligence (AI). While Artificial Intelligence is a buzzword often thrown around in discussions about big technological revolutions of tomorrow, in this article we shall take a look at a practical application of AI that is here right now – chatbots. Chatbots can help address both the problems of cost and quality in healthcare.cost and quality in healthcare.

A brief introduction to chatbots

A chatbot is basically a computer sitting at one side of a messaging service and chatting with a human. The computer is programmed to understand the inputs of the human and respond appropriately. Chatbots can vary in their complexity, some may look for keywords to try to understand if the human on the other side is asking a specific question and respond with the help of a large library of predetermined responses, while others may use sophisticated neural networks trained for natural language processing (NLP), and can understand and respond to more complicated queries providing more human-like interaction.

chatbot health care

How can chatbots help the healthcare sector?

  • solution-iconstep 1:Chatbots and AI, in general, can serve as useful components of the healthcare system. They are well suited to be used for use as pre-diagnostics. This is to determine if the symptoms of a patient need attention by a medical professional or not. A lot of people today are demanding of all services. Just like anything else, they demand constant access to their doctors. They visit their doctors even for minor symptoms which may be treated by over the counter medications or just some rest. Such visits which are not critical increase the cost of healthcare, and make the doctors less available to attend more serious cases, since even though these visits may not take too long, they still require at least the minimum time required by the doctor to assess the case. Also, his or her assistants have to take care of the paperwork and other bureaucratic requirements for each case. Thus, all of those trivial visits stress an already overburdened system and increases the costs, no matter whoever is paying them.
  • solution-iconstep 2:In a chatbot can be programmed to pre-diagnose with a great accuracy. It can ask for the symptoms, and assess their severity. These assessments need not be in isolation, in addition to checking if a symptom is a serious cause for concern in itself, it can check if the specific combination of the reported symptoms is cause for any concern. For example, just a fever may not be of too much concern, but if it is accompanied by several other symptoms may warrant a visit to the doctor. Similarly, it can also check how often the patient is reporting the symptoms to assess if it is a serious concern. Chatbots can also be programmed to access Electronic Medical Record (EMR) to check if a particular symptom is a concern for a particular pre-existing medical condition or history.
  • selection-iconstep 3:InThose who need frequent medical advice can seek them from chatbots instead of visiting the doctor. If anyone is suffering from any minor symptoms, then the chatbots may suggest some over the counter medication to treat the condition without requiring a doctor’s visit. This can significantly cut down the burden on the medical system and reduce the costs. The doctors could be freed to attend to cases that actually do require a doctor’s attention. Such high availability of medical advice is also great for people who do have various questions but are reluctant to seek professional advice. If you have ever used Google search to find information regarding health issues, you will know that there a lot of websites that try to sell you some product under the guise of providing information. Chatbots can be programmed provide information that is actually relevant to them. If a chatbot has access to the person’s medical history, then it can be used to eliminate most of the irrelevant information and show only relevant information about general health related queries.
  • wireframe-iconstep 4:The problem of quality of healthcare can also addressed with pre-diagnosis. Many people ignore the early warnings of many diseases and health conditions. When these diseases advance into later stages, they are much more difficult, expensive and sometimes even outright impossible to treat. Treating a disease in earlier stages is almost always better. Treating many diseases in earlier stages can allow doctors to save many more lives. Since it is easier to treat early stages, the utilisation of emergency medical care, intensive care and hospital beds can also be reduced. Thus, it will lead to better outcomes of the healthcare system. Also reduced stress on the system will inevitably lead to better quality.
  • coding-iconstep 5:There are many other advantages of chatbots as well. They can take care of several routine and menial tasks such as reminding patients to take their medicines or reminding them of scheduled visits. It can also make booking an appointment with a doctor easier. The ability of chatbots to make bookings is already being used in other services such as flight bookings. Nowadays there are a lot of fitness trackers to monitor various parameters such as heart rate, sleep and activity levels. There are also various consumer medical devices to monitor blood sugar and blood pressure. A chatbot can be programmed to accept data from these sources by using supported APIs. Taking into consideration these additional parameters and the medical history of the patient, an advanced AI based chatbot can provide very accurate pre-diagnostics and other general medical advice.

why istudio

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Advantages and limitations of AI and chatbots

Computer powered Artificial Intelligence has some inherent advantages over humans. Computers can remember entire medical histories for all the patients, and even the best of doctors cannot match that level of recollection. Computers can also analyse, to the best of the AI’s ability, every single piece of medical literature in existence and constantly update with any new one being published. The ability of computers to identify and analyse trends across an entire population is also something that cannot be matched by humans. Such advantages can be leveraged by chatbots and incorporated into the pre-diagnosis or medical advice. But still, medical complications and diseases of the human body are too complicated for current AI to completely understand. Also, AI is not capable of understanding the nuances of natural human language. A doctor is able to make a complete observation of the patient, understand what he means by not just what, but also how, he is saying in order to make an appropriate assessment and provide the appropriate care and medication. Hence, the role of AI, by means of chatbots, is still limited to pre-diagnostics, and if it makes an assessment that a patient has a certain disease, still a full diagnosis by a doctor is necessary.


Every significant advancement brings improvements to every field. The advancements in AI is beginning to show promising improvements for the healthcare sector by the introduction of chatbots. While it cannot take care of everything, taking menial and trivial tasks out of doctors’ hands could bring significant benefits for reducing costs and improving the quality of care. Also, the many additional benefits of chatbots make them a very useful addition to the current healthcare system.

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