Voice technology is expanding into various sectors and we know it. Marketers often think about voice assistants as new touchpoints in the omnichannel customer journey or as marketing tools to promote their brand. But there’s more than that to Alexa and Google Assistant. The way conversational AI has become one of the key healthcare trends in 2021 is proof of that.
The Healthcare Conversational AI market is moving fast
With healthcare AI startups popping up everywhere and Amazon Web Services introducing its first healthcare accelerator cohort, there are clear signs indicating that voice technology is soon going to be a key feature of the healthcare provider (HCP) and consumer experience.
Big companies are already aware and are making steps to take advantage of the strategic potential of this sector.
Just in december 2021, Microsoft finalized the $19.7 billion acquisition of Nuance Communication, the second biggest in the company’s history after LinkedIn ($26 billion).
Microsoft has been working on healthcare-focused solutions for enterprises seeking to take advantage of the re-shuffle that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on in this sector. Its acquisition of Nuance, already present in 90% of US hospitals in February 2021, is certainly a sign of the direction the market is moving towards.
Recently, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced plans to integrate and scale Alexa systems into senior communities and large healthcare systems. So, you know something big is going to happen.
What solutions is Voice Technology bringing to the Healthcare table?
The last two years of pandemic crisis have brought to light some existing problems in the healthcare sector, recurring throughout many countries in the world, e.g. disparities in the healthcare system and the difficulty for healthcare providers (HCPs) to fully dedicate themselves to their practice, while facing increased administrative burdens.
Voice technology can and is already making the life of clinicians a lot easier in a number of ways. Let’s have a look at two examples.
Voice assistants as guide and buddy
Speech has long been proven to be more natural than writing. So why not enable patients to interact more instinctively with verified doctor-approved sources of information to learn more about their condition via conversational AI technology?
And that’s not it. Elderly patients can already benefit from the 24/7 companionship that smart speakers have been known to offer and the possibility of directly contacting their carers when needed.
Reducing financial and administrative pressures on healthcare providers
Healthcare professionals and enterprises have been complaining about the burden of administrative tasks that is being increasingly put on them.
Your everyday Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant might soon be able to help with that in exam rooms, operation rooms (OR), call centers and patient rooms. If the patient will agree, digital assistants will be able to respond to the clinician, as well as recording, transcribing and directly reporting to the electronic health record (EHR) what is happening in the room.
New players have been popping up alongside these well-known voice assistants to fit the requirements and specificities of the healthcare sector.
Take Suki, a specialized voice platform that helps professionals in the field to streamline the bureaucratic requirements and respond better to their patients needs.
Suki solves some of the big issues at stake in this highly technical field related to the ability to understand the technical jargon of all specialities, from neurology and ophthalmology to urology.
This is one of the big selling points of Suki and other specialized voice assistants that are currently being developed.
Introducing voice technology in this sector is about aiding healthcare professionals in their day-to-day responsibilities and making delicate situations in the OR safer, where hands-free interactions are of crucial importance.
In these sensitive situations, specificity and technicality are crucial values that enterprises and professionals are looking for and AI developers seeking to succeed in this field are called to respond to this.
Conversational AI offers many opportunities to the health care sector, voice assistance being only one of them. For example, the friendly science-backed coach Lark Health leverages chat to keep contact and motivate users to pursue their health-related goals.
Are you looking to change the world of healthcare through conversational Ai but don’t know where to start? We’re here to help.