Just imagine a very familiar scene: 3 a.m. and you google your symptoms and self-diagnose your illness. Then you have to decide based on whatever search has come up whether or not you need to see a doctor. This is one of those times where AI chatbots come into play. More and more HealthTech companies are focusing on providing a software solution for patients to define symptoms and then get proper treatment. Triage chatbots is an alternative to googling your symptoms.
Patients and their families often want continuous monitoring and care. Traditional health insurance providers are partnering with telehealth companies, to address those concerns. Anthem is working with American Well, Cigna is working with MDLive, Bupa is working with Babylon Health and Aflac is working with MeMD to deliver benefits of telehealth to it's existing customers. Health insurance providers such as Oscar Health is redefining health-insurance by building the whole customer experience around its own telehealth services. As telehealth continues to replace traditional health care, it is going to inherit some of its challenges. These include increased cost of care due to multiple vendors, complex care pathways, and government policies. However, the question that remains to be answered is will this advanced technology that we call telehealth, be able to redefine the quality, equity and affordability of healthcare throughout the world.
The use of AI in telemedicine and telehealth can assist doctors in providing better services to patients by simplifying their work practices. Telemedicine is the exchange of medical information from one location to another using electronic communication. Telemedicine has proliferated in the past few years and has become an integral part of health care, penetrating public hospitals, private clinics, and even people's residences and workplaces. According to Gartner, Health delivery organizations (HDOs) are "on the threshold of a seismic change in how they will deliver clinical care and they now recognize the value of virtual care and telemedicine." The use of AI in telemedicine will play a massive role in bringing about this seismic change in healthcare.
This blog is a summary of the discussions that took place at the DataKind UK ethics book club on AI and medicine, on 22nd April 2020. Views represented here are those of attendees at the book club. By the time DataKind UK's ethics book club rolled around, our topic -- AI and medicine -- felt pretty timely. In groups, we discussed the contact-tracing methods being used by public health authorities around the world, and concerns that privacy might be a casualty of the public health response. While there might be legitimate arguments to pry into people's personal lives in the midst of a pandemic, we also wondered what happens after the crisis is over.
Digital health and mobile health apps have been a hype topic, ever since Apple's App Store began the app-craze in 2008. The initial hype about mHealth has now cooled, which is good news in a way because it shows that mHealth has made the leap from hype to reality. The hype of healthcare apps has since been replaced by other hot topics. So, what is the "next big thing"? We want to have a closer look at chatbots in healthcare. What are these so-called chatbots capable of doing?