Healthbot interactions to reach 2.8bn by 2023

Written by Peter Walker

Artificial intelligence-powered chatbots will soon become the first responders for peoples’ engagements with healthcare providers, as the number of chatbot interactions exceeds 2.8 billion annually by 2023.

This is up from an estimated 21 million in 2018 - an average annual growth of 167 per cent - according to analysis from Juniper Research.

The consultancy suggested that adoption of chatbots will ramp up in the future, as people become more comfortable using them to discuss their healthcare requirements and healthcare providers increasingly use them in customer experience strategies.

Shortages of medical practitioners to support ageing populations will also drive the trend, with Juniper noting that the German government expects that it will need three million more nurses by 2060.

Increased sophistication of conversational AI platforms will also lead to a greater percentage of enquiries being completed entirely via chatbots, freeing up the medical staff time and saving countries’ healthcare systems around $3.7 billion by 2023.

The research found that the first priority for healthcare providers will be to ensure that the information collected is transferred to a person’s medical record and other applications, such as appointment scheduling or for those for dispensing prescriptions. This means that providers of medical records and line of business applications will need to make their existing systems interoperable with chatbot providers.

Research author Michael Larner explained: “Chatbots have the potential to transform the way in which patients engage with their healthcare systems and go some way to take the pressure off overstretched staff.

“But if deployments are not backed up by investment in record keeping, then financial and time savings will evaporate,” he added.