– The rise of artificial intelligence tools in healthcare has introduced new methods of care delivery, giving providers the ability to reach patients outside the four walls of the doctor’s office.
Chatbots and conversational AI are key examples of such tools. Organizations have implemented these devices to support patients and broaden access to care, wherever patients may be.
At UCHealth, an AI-powered tool called Livi has helped patients meaningfully engage in their own care.
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“We first implemented the tool to be able to answer simple questions for our patients. When they come to our website, we want to help them make it easier to find a location or find a doctor,” Nicole Caputo, senior director of experience and innovation at UCHealth, said during a recent episode of Healthcare Strategies, an Xtelligent Healthcare Media podcast.
“But after we implemented her, we found out very quickly that patients wanted to know about their health. They were looking for information specific to them more than anything. We still have people looking for locations and providers in a specific specialty, but they also want to know where their test results are or message their doctor. That shifted our strategy towards integration with the EHR.”
In the context of COVID-19, tools like Livi are becoming all the more prevalent – and critical – in healthcare delivery.
“There are a lot of folks who are calling into clinics and talking to people about their healthcare more, so the idea of picking up the phone and calling somebody is a little bit more difficult when there’s a higher call volume. People are trying to do more online and interact with our digital tools in a way that they may not necessarily have done before,” said Matt Andazola, project manager for experience and innovation at UCHealth.
“They’re coming to Livi and they’re asking for help accomplishing different tasks: Reading a message from their doctor, composing a new one, or finding their test results. Conversational AI is a way to bridge that gap and bring people to the information they’re looking for and help them accomplish things faster, using tools that already exist.”
Going forward, chatbots will play a larger role in the overall patient experience.
“The future for conversational AI is bringing it more into the care process throughout the entire care journey, whether it’s helping more with the pre-work required for appointments or just helping you live your best life possible,” Caputo concluded.
“For us, it’s just greater personalization and greater integration with the healthcare journey, and we’re really excited about the future as we see the technology grow.”
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