Companies across all sectors from finance to healthcare are using automated chatbots with natural language processing to help improve their customer service. According to a report from Gartner Chatbots could soon replace 85% of customer interactions.
In 2017, MSD Italia launched what it described as the sector’s first chatbot which answers physicians’ questions via Facebook. The app grew out of their activity on social media where they found themselves engaging with customers and starting conversations. AI chatbots were the logical next step.
Others have followed. In 2018 Sanofi launched a chatbot for the French market called Nina aimed at people with sleeping disorders. The system provided people with simple advice to help their condition such as switching the colours on mobile devices to warmer, ‘sleepy’ colours during night time.
Health Tap, meanwhile, created an interactive Facebook chatbot which helps people quickly find out what may be wrong with them and recommended a treatment. If the system can’t answer a query it connects the user with one of over a hundred doctors worldwide who will provide an answer within 24 hours.
As the technology becomes more effective, public acceptance is growing. Research from Digi Health shows that most patients are willing to use chatbots for minor issues which do not require a physical examination.
The system also provides a pharmaceutical company with a goldmine of information about what their customers are looking for and common ailments. Over time, this information can be fed into machine learning systems to identify those patients most likely to be high risk or who might fail to respond to treatment.