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Insurance Chatbot & the Automated Insurance Agent

What is it that comes to your mind when you think of a “Chatbot”? For me, it always reminds me of Siri, Alexa who can chat with us just like real humans. So, a chatbot is an automated system that is designed to interact with humans to the extent that they do not even realize that they are talking to a computer program. Most of the industry verticals have adopted chatbots for automating their processes and Insurance sector is one of them.

The insurance sector has always been a laggard when it comes to adapting to new technologies, but AI backed technology and RPA for insurance is nothing less than a boon for this sector. Insurance industry primarily revolves around in-depth analysis and information processing which makes it ripe for AI intervention.

The rise of the Automated Insurance Agent and RPA:

Is chatbot a winner for the insurance sector or it is still struggling to find its place? As per the TCS survey report, the Insurance sector has invested an average of $124million on AI and related processes, and this value is projected to rise exponentially as more investment on diverse applications is on the immediate horizon. The automation of several processes like broking, low-level claims processing, standardized underwriting is already implemented, and more automation is expected to follow.

RPA for insurance has also helped to mechanize the repetitive tasks that once needed a dedicated workforce.

A change in the customer’s perspective:

Another factor that is playing a catalyst in pushing Insurance companies to digitize their operations is the customer. Customers are not shying away from the automated insurance agents rather they are embracing it full-heartedly. With the advent of extreme digitalization verbal communication has been replaced by written communication and people are accustomed to typing and texting. 77% of insurance customers are entirely okay with chatbots if it means alleviating the wait times that they often face with real-time customer representatives. Also, one out of every four insurance customers is comfortable with interacting with a chatbot which further implicates that automated insurance agents do not have a grim future and they are here to stay.

Machine learning applications for data:

The next step in the insurance industry involves leveraging the benefits of AI to analyze and collate the available data from various channels like the social media, emails, and online postings and provide customers with more specific and sophisticated insurance products. Such systems can help insurance companies to grow, improve sales, reduce costs and make well-informed decisions. It also helps to improve customer experience as they no more have to wait for getting their queries processed or obtaining information about their claims.

Implementing machine learning tools for making accurate predictions based on available data patterns is also a crucial part of the insurance industry. For instance, if one has available data for online insurance purchases, then it can help to narrow down the customer preferences based on the demographics which in return help with more lead conversion. The claims department can also analyze the data patterns for inconsistency and detect any fraudulent activities.

Jobs Creation:

The rise in the automated insurance agent may replace the conventional agent workforce, but there is a growing possibility of new job positions. As more and more companies will start deploying new technologies for their operations the need of digital analysts, online marketers and developers will subsequently rise. The companies will need technically proficient individuals with knowledge in machine learning, analytics and automation programs to manage their web-based sales.

Insurance companies are already feeling the pressure and the importance of automation. The rapid technological advancement and a paradigm shift in the consumer’s buying behaviour are requiring companies to adopt new technologies. Tech pundits have predicted that there is a wealth of information to explore when it comes to Artificial Intelligence for Insurance.   

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Enhancing digital patient experience with healthcare chatbots

5 minutes read

Chatbots are fast emerging at the forefront of user engagement across industries. In 2021, healthcare is undoubtedly being touted as one of the most important industries due to the noticeable surge in demand amid the pandemic and its subsequent waves. The Global Healthcare Chatbots Market is expected to exceed over US$ 314.63 Million by 2024 at a CAGR of 20.58%.

Chatbots are being seen as those with high potential to revolutionize healthcare. They act as the perfect support system to agents on the floor by providing the first-step resolution to the customer, in terms of understanding intent and need, boost efficiency, and also improve the accuracy of symptom detection and ailment identification, preventive care, feedback procedures, claim filing and processing and more.

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital tools in healthcare, most commonly chatbots, rose to the forefront of healthcare solutions. Providence St. Joseph Health, Mass General Brigham, Care Health Insurance (formerly Religare), and several other notable names built and rolled out artificial intelligence-based chatbots to help with diagnostics at the first stage before a human-human virtual contact, especially while differentiating between possible COVID-19 cases and other ailments. The CDC also hosts an AI-driven chatbot on its website to help screen for coronavirus infections. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) partnered with a messaging app named Ratuken Viber, to develop an interactive chatbot for accurate information about COVID-19 in multiple languages. This allowed WHO to reach up to 1 billion people located anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, in their respective native languages.

For Care Health Insurance, Mantra Labs deployed their Conversational AI Chatbot with AR-based virtual support, called Hitee, trained to converse in multiple languages. This led to 10X interactions over the previous basic chatbot; 5X more conversions through Vanilla Web Experience; Drop-in Customer Queries over Voice Support by 20% among other benefits.

Artificial Intelligence’s role in the healthcare industry has been growing strength by strength over the years. According to the global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, AI spending in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries is expected to increase from $463 million in 2019 to more than $2 billion over the next 5 years, healthtechmagazine.net has reported. 

Speaking of key features available on a healthcare chatbot, Anonymity; Monitoring; Personalization; collecting Physical vitals (including oxygenation, heart rhythm, body temperature) via mobile sensors; monitoring patient behavior via facial recognition; Real-time interaction; and Scalability, feature top of the list. 

However, while covering the wide gamut of a healthcare bot’s capabilities, it is trained on the following factors to come in handy on a business or human-need basis. Read on: 

Remote, Virtual Consults 

Chatbots were seen surging exponentially in the year 2016, however, the year 2020 and onwards brought back the possibility of adding on to healthcare bot capabilities as people continued to stay home amid the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. Chatbots work as the frontline customer support for Quick Symptom Assessment where the intent is understood and a patient’s queries are answered, including connection with an agent for follow-up service, Booking an Appointment with doctors, and more. 

Mental Health Therapy

Even though anxiety, depression, and other mental health-related disorders and their subsequent awareness have been the talk around the world, even before the pandemic hit, the pandemic year, once again could be attributed to increased use of bots to seek support or a conversation to work through their anxiety and more amid trying times. The popular apps, Woebot and Wysa, both gained popularity and recognition during the previous months as a go-to Wellness Advisor. 

An AI Wellness Advisor can also take the form of a chatbot that sends regular reminders on meal and water consumption timings, nutrition charts including requisite consultation with nutritionists, lifestyle advice, and more. 

Patient Health Monitoring via wearables 

Wearable technologies like wearable heart monitors, Bluetooth-enabled scales, glucose monitors, skin patches, shoes, belts, or maternity care trackers promise to redefine assessment of health behaviors in a non-invasive manner and helps acquire, transmit, process, and store patient data, thereby making it a breeze for clinicians to retrieve it as and when they need it.

Remote patient monitoring devices also enable patients to share updates on their vitals and their environment from the convenience and comfort of home, a feature that’s gained higher popularity amid the pandemic.

A healthcare chatbot for healthcare has the capability to check existing insurance coverage, help file claims and track the status of claims. 

What’s in store for the future of chatbots in Healthcare? 

The three main areas where healthcare chatbots can be particularly useful include timely health diagnostics, patient engagement outside medical facilities, and mental health care. 

According to Gartner, conversational AI will supersede cloud and mobile as the most important imperative for the next ten years. 

“For AI to succeed in healthcare over the long-term, consumer comfort and confidence should be front and center. Leveraging AI behind the scenes or in supporting roles could collectively ease us into understanding its value without risking alienation,” reads a May 2021 Forbes article titled, The Doctor Is In: Three Predictions For The Future Of AI In Healthcare. 

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