Businesses have been running on profits and profits usually are the function of the costs. After industrialization, the costs were reduced by creating efficient processes to run things smoothly over a predictable timeline. This was all good till the time computers came and along came the internet connectivity.
The processes moved from humble registers to computers and when the computer labor became costly in a certain market some of the processes moved to the low-cost centers. All this for maintaining the cost to generate more profits. The business process automation(BPA) has been doing the same. It is about finding the efficiencies in the business processes to cut down unnecessary steps and make them less costly.
The latest revolution was when the virtualized platforms that allowed the addition and removal of resources required for processes based on the workloads. This allowed the companies to investigate opportunities to define their processes based on automated rules. This was the evolution of the Robotic process automation.
RPA goes a step further in terms of making the repetitive processes automated so that human intervention is lost. A simple application for this could be rule-based responses you need to provide for certain workflows. When you code in the Rules once they do not need an intervention of any kind and the RPA takes care of it all. Companies have benefited by implementing RPA based solutions and processes to cut costs multiple times. This is the time where bots started taking over communication as one of the first use cases.
Where is RPA headed?
The current revolution is Industry 4.0 which is going to change the dynamic once again. The RPA process still requires to be trained before they can apply the rules correctly for the given use case. The AI, ML, and cognitive computing provide the capability of self-learning to these systems and make the learning an on the job task, very similar to human way of learning. This change of process automation is being touted as Intelligent robotic process automation (iRPA) and it is here to stay.
iRPA can not only make bots more intelligent with every interaction they have but can also be trained to identify new areas where they could start assisting. So let’s say you create a bot for customer support and over the period of time the bot can start providing options of features required in your products based on the feedback received in the interactions or provide you insights about whether a product may be successful or not based on similar product launches in the past.
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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