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Using Healthcare Chatbot on WhatsApp: A Simple Guide (2024)

Ashwin    11/01/23

AI has come a long way, right? And the healthcare industry is taking notice. They’re using these smart healthcare chatbots to make things better for everyone. These chatbots bring many benefits to the table and have the power to change healthcare as we know it. Healthcare chatbots are making a huge impact, from boosting patient satisfaction to cutting costs.

What are Healthcare Chatbots?

Advantages of healthcare chatbots

Healthcare chatbots are automated programs designed to provide health advice through text-based interactions on your devices. These digital assistants offer immediate responses to health inquiries, making them a valuable resource for individuals seeking quick guidance on minor ailments or wellness information.

 Users receive advice based on established medical knowledge by simply texting a symptom or question, facilitating a more proactive approach to personal health management. 

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that healthcare chatbots do not replace professional medical consultations. They serve as an accessible preliminary resource, providing guidance that may alleviate concerns or, in some cases, suggest seeking further medical attention.

Why Doctors and Patients Prefer Using WhatsApp

1. Everyone Knows WhatsApp: Many people use WhatsApp to chat with friends and family daily. So, hospitals and clinics know that their patients already like and use WhatsApp. It’s easier to use something you already know.

2. Private and Safe: Keeping it private is important when discussing sickness and health. WhatsApp is good at this because it has “end-to-end encryption.” That’s a big way of saying that the messages you send are like secrets between you and the person you’re chatting with. No one else can see them!

3. Sharing More Than Words: Old ways of talking, like phone calls or emails, can be slow and can only sometimes share everything. WhatsApp lets doctors and patients send pictures, videos, and even voice messages. So, if you need to show something important, you can!

4. Keeping Records: Another cool thing is that you can look back at your old chats. You can remember the doctor’s words, check instructions, or see your health progress. It’s like having a diary of your health chats.

5. Quick Replies: Nobody likes waiting long, especially when you feel unwell. WhatsApp lets doctors answer health questions fast. Quick help can make a big difference!

Advantages of Healthcare Chatbots

1. Improved Patient Experience

One of the coolest things about healthcare chatbots is the super-improved patient experience they bring to the table. These chatbots are fast, convenient, and super accessible, giving patients quick and personal answers to all their questions and worries. It’s a total game changer that helps cut down on wait times, provides better access to care, and leads to a more positive healthcare experience for everyone.

2. 24/7 Availability

Another perk of healthcare chatbots is that they’re always there for you, like 24/7! Unlike human healthcare providers who have to sleep sometimes, these chatbots never take a break and are always ready to answer your questions and support you. So it’s convenient when you need some healthcare info outside regular business hours, you know? Like in the middle of the night or on the weekend.

3. Increased Efficiency

Not only do healthcare chatbots improve the patient experience, but they also make things more efficient for the healthcare industry. These chatbots are like personal assistants, taking care of all the routine tasks so healthcare professionals can focus on the big and important stuff. This leads to shorter wait times, better access to care, and ultimately better patient results. Win-win!

4. Cost Savings

AI chatbots in healthcare are a secret weapon in the battle against high costs. Healthcare chatbots can help keep costs down and make things run smoothly by taking care of tasks without human involvement. This is especially important for healthcare providers who want to offer top-notch care to their patients without breaking the bank.

5. Personalisation

AI chatbots in healthcare are like personal trainers for your health – they can get to know you and your medical history and then use that info to give you a customised care plan. It’s like having a 24/7 health BFF that always has your back!

6. Increased Data Security

Data security is a big deal, especially in healthcare, but no worries! AI chatbots got this. They can securely store and manage all that sensitive patient information, reducing the risk of data breaches and other security threats. With AI chatbots on the job, patients can rest easy knowing their personal and medical info is in good hands.

7. Better Communication and Coordination

AI chatbots can also facilitate communication between healthcare professionals and patients, improving coordination. For example, AI chatbots can help patients schedule appointments, track their symptoms, and receive reminders for follow-up care. This can help ensure that patients receive the care they need when needed and help healthcare providers deliver the best possible care.

How Healthcare Chatbot conversations look like

8. Improved Patient Outcomes

What do I find pretty cool about these healthcare chatbots? My answer is they’re making a real difference in people’s health. With their ability to catch potential issues early and keep track of chronic conditions, patients are getting the care they need to stay healthy. And that’s a big win!

9. Ability to Handle a High Volume of Inquiries

Finally, AI chatbots are like superheroes for healthcare; they can handle many patient questions and requests, which means less waiting and better access to care for everyone.

But did you also notice that healthcare chatbots were useful during the pandemic? Everyone needing medical info and care all at once greatly strains the healthcare system. But, these chatbots helped ease the load by providing quick answers and support, making it easier for patients and healthcare providers to get through the craziness.

How were Healthcare chatbots used in the fight against COVID-19?

1. Screening:

Chatbots stepped up big time during the COVID-19 pandemic. They helped screen patients, ask about symptoms, and give the next steps based on the information provided.

2. Virtual Consultations:

During the pandemic, chatbots stepped up as virtual doctors, giving people access to medical advice without the need for face-to-face appointments. People could ask questions about their symptoms, get tips on what to do next, and even get a diagnosis from their homes. It was a lifesaver in reducing exposure to the virus.

3. Contact Tracing:

Chatbots also helped out during the pandemic by doing some contact tracing work. They’d ask people about who they recently interacted with and then guide them on what to do next to help slow the spread of the virus.

4. Information Dissemination:

Lastly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, chatbots gave folks the lowdown on the virus, like its symptoms, how to protect yourself, and their treatment options. It helped calm everyone down and ensure everyone had the information they needed.

Chatbots stepping up to help healthcare providers during the Pandemic paved the way for different types of chatbots. Each was designed to meet specific needs and requirements in the healthcare industry.

Types of Healthcare Chatbots

Symptom Checker Chatbots

Symptom checker chatbots are excellent and helpful AI tools in healthcare. They’re like having a personal doctor in your pocket! These chatbots are designed to help people identify what might be causing their symptoms. Then, you simply tell the chatbot what’s bothering you, and it will ask a series of questions to gather information.

Based on what you tell it, the chatbot will then provide you with possible causes and recommend what you should do next, whether that be seeing a doctor or taking over-the-counter medication. They’re super convenient and can save you a trip to the doctor’s office if your symptoms aren’t severe. It’s like a quick and easy way to get some peace of mind!

Virtual Assistant Chatbots:

Healthcare virtual assistant chatbots are basically like digital personal assistants for your healthcare needs. They can help you book appointments, manage your meds, and even access your health records. Plus, they’re always available, so you can get help with your healthcare whenever you need it.

And if you ever forget when to take your meds or go to an appointment, these chatbots can send you reminders too. So, all in all, healthcare virtual assistant chatbots are there to make managing your healthcare as easy as possible.

Mental Health Chatbots:

Mental health chatbots are a cool way for people to get support for their mental well-being. They ask about your mental health, offer resources and advice, or even hook you up with a mental health professional if needed. No more waiting on hold for hours or feeling embarrassed about reaching out – these chatbots are there to help, 24/7.

Diagnosis Chatbots:

Diagnosis chatbots are like digital doctors that can help you figure out what’s going on with your health. They ask you about your symptoms and then use that information to recommend potential causes and treatments. It’s a quick and easy way to get to know about your health and what you can do about it.

Just be aware that the chatbots aren’t real doctors and should never replace a professional medical diagnosis. But they can still be helpful in figuring out what’s going on.

Wellness Chatbots:

Wellness chatbots are virtual assistants that help users maintain and improve their overall health and well-being. They offer personalised guidance and support in areas such as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress management. These chatbots can track users’ habits and suggest ways to improve their daily routines for optimal health.

They can also offer advice on mental health and provide resources for managing mental health conditions. Whether you’re looking to eat better, exercise more, or improve your overall health, wellness chatbots are a convenient and accessible tool to help you achieve your wellness goals.

Emergency Response Chatbots:

Emergency Response chatbots are designed to assist people during medical emergencies. They can help patients by providing life-saving information, such as how to perform CPR or manage a bleeding wound. By providing immediate assistance, these chatbots can help people take action quickly, potentially saving lives.

They can also connect patients to emergency services if needed. Every second counts in an emergency, and having immediate access to life-saving information can make a big difference.

There are so many types of healthcare chatbots being used today. Each is designed for a specific purpose. It depends on what the healthcare providers and patients need. But the right one can make a big impact, helping doctors provide better care and making it easier for patients to care for themselves.

Also Read:

Healthcare Chatbots: Important Rules

Doctors and hospitals want to use WhatsApp to talk to patients. But first, they need to know some rules.

1. Ask First: Before sending a message on WhatsApp, healthcare providers should ask patients if it’s okay by asking them to opt-in to receive messages. Something like during the appointment booking, they can ask, “Is it okay if we send you reminders on WhatsApp?”

2. Only Share What’s Needed: Healthcare providers should only send important health info. And thanks to WhatsApp, these messages are private and can’t be easily seen by others..

3. Keep Patient Info Safe: Healthcare providers have a big job to keep our health info safe. When using WhatsApp, they should ensure they follow all the rules about keeping our details private.

4. WhatsApp is for Health Talk, Not Ads: WhatsApp should be used for things like reminders or health advice, not for selling stuff or ads.

By sticking to these simple rules, healthcare providers can use WhatsApp in the best way. Next, we’ll share some top tips for using WhatsApp in healthcare.

In conclusion, chatbots are like game changers in healthcare. They’re quick, easy to access, and can tailor care to each person. Plus, by making things smoother and cutting down costs, they will be a big deal in the healthcare world in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a healthcare chatbot on WhatsApp? 

A healthcare chatbot is like a robot you can message on WhatsApp. It answers your questions about health, like tips for a cold or reminders to take your medicine.

Q: Do I have to pay to use a healthcare chatbot? 

It depends. Some health chatbots are free, but others might cost money. Always check before you start using one!

Q: Can the healthcare chatbot see my messages? 

No, don’t worry! The chatbot doesn’t really “see” anything. It just gets your messages and sends back automatic answers. And with WhatsApp, your chats are private.

Q: Is a healthcare chatbot as good as a real doctor? 

No, it’s not! Chatbots can give basic help or answer simple questions, but they’re not doctors. Always talk to a real doctor if you feel sick or unsure about something.

Can I trust the health tips from a chatbot?

 A: Most health chatbots are designed to give safe, useful advice but are imperfect. If something doesn’t seem right or you have more questions, it’s best to ask a real doctor.

What if I have a problem with the chatbot? 

If something’s not working, or if the chatbot’s answers are confusing, you can usually contact the support team for the chatbot. They can help fix problems or guide you on what to do next.

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