Healthcare providers spend a lot of money on customer service, taking patient inquiries via phone, e-mail, and in person. Many patients rather talk to virtual assistants when it comes to sensitive health issues. Cutting down in-person consultations time will not only improve efficiency, but other areas in managing a healthcare business such as marketing strategies and corporate image.

Today, 2.52 billion people use messaging apps on mobile. This number is expected to reach 3 billion in 2022, according to KommandoTech. Messaging apps can help connect patients to providers on an efficient, cost-effective medium: mobile devices and computers. The system can respond instantly and communicate with many patients simultaneously.

Time is limited during doctor visits. Naturally, patients have a lot of questions, but they don't usually get a professional opinion until they meet the physician. Worse is if patients fail to ask all the questions in the short amount of time they get to spend with the doctor. When patients can't reach their doctors, more often than not they self-diagnose with Dr. Google. If you Google "Why does my chest hurt?", you can a range of diagnosis from muscle inflammation, fatal internal bleeding to heart attack. What if an AI assistant pops up to offer instant assistance beforehand? The patient can types in their query and the chatbot answers away without making them panic.

Chatbot can prepare patients for their appointments by thinking about what they want to do during their next visit.  With the already limited time most doctors spend with their patient, critical information could be left out. Waiting for doctors to move things forward could impact diagnosis and treatment. Chatbots can assist by asking patients a variety of questions that encourage them to explain more about their health and concerns prior to their appointments. The patient information gathered from a well prepared interview is of the highest value. Patients can receive the best possible care and this is precisely how chatbots can augment communication in healthcare.

If you want your patients to take action, effective patient communication is key and reaching them in their preferred channel is a first step. Getting information at the right time will save them from self-diagnosis, and provide them with the best care.