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The past few years we’ve seen a significant shift in both medical requirements and the method of receiving medication, simply because restricted movement was colliding with a sudden rise in medical demand. According to the Healthcare Logistics Market Research Report Study, the global healthcare logistics market was set to grow by $30 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $50 billion by 2026. A large segment of this is made up of the global medical chatbots market which accounted for $116.9 million in 2018 and is expected to reach a $345.3 million by 2026.
“As technology continues to rule the world, it is time that people shift to medical chatbots. Medical chatbots have the advantage of being around whenever required. This means one does not have to compromise their busy schedules to treat some minor illness. They are a personalized system of medical diagnosis. Chatbots have proven to be user-friendly and anyone with basic skills in language and technology can avail of its use.” – Ligs University
The chatbot is an automated communication system available via your preferred platforms – WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook Messenger and more! They’re made available through medical websites and make it much easier for customers to order chronic or over-the-counter medication. Companies that integrate a telehealth API into their system can also redirect customers to live chat for healthcare where needed – this is where a live agent takes over to assist a customer.
“Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth usage surged as consumers and providers sought ways to safely access and deliver healthcare. In April 2020, overall telehealth utilization for office visits and outpatient care was 78 times higher than in February 2020.” - McKinsey
The process of ordering medication is made so much simpler and more efficient through medical chatbots. Basically, the customer goes onto your website or connects with your chatbot directly. The chatbot will ask for an area location, name, contact details and residential address. They will then be asked to upload a prescription for the medication required – unless it doesn’t require a prescription. The customer can then input the medication quantity and then use this commercial chat platform to pay for the order as well as tracking it from dispatch to delivery.
It’s not simply ordering medication via chatbots that makes them such a useful engagement tool, they serve so many different functions in the healthcare community. Some of these include:
Access to medical history: The chatbots can share medical histories with doctors, including allergies and chronic conditions, in an emergency situation.
Schedule appointments: Customers can also use the telehealth platform to book appointments if the system is integrated into the doctors’ calendars.
Symptom checking: Customers can actually input their symptoms into the chatbot which relies on a well-structured question bank for the correct information input. This allows doctors to check the severity of the symptoms while ruling out certain illnesses.
Provide additional healthcare information: Because the telehealth chat API supports a variety of media types, it can also prove incredibly useful in providing customers with support documents and guidelines. This can include instructions on taking medication as well as any expected side effects; typical symptoms for common illnesses; symptoms to watch out for; guidance on what to do in an emergency situation; and more.
Automated invoicing and payments: The telehealth API will also facilitate processes such as invoicing as well as allowing for immediate payments. This saves on time for the customer, while ensuring all accounts are kept up-to-date quickly and easily.
The fact that customers are able to order their life-saving medication on their favourite chat platform is one of the reasons that telehealth API is becoming such a popular tool in the medical industry. But there are so many more reasons why this is such a beneficial addition for modern healthcare providers.
1. Massive savings
“Chat-bots could save organizations $8 billion annually worldwide by 2022, up from $20 million this year, Juniper Research forecasted.” – Healthcare IT News
Medical chatbots are able to automate mundane, time-consuming tasks while speeding up the process. Because of this, healthcare providers are saving their valuable employees time, and saving the organisation money. But it’s not just about savings for the healthcare provider, telehealth chat also saves the customer as there are no consulting fees for doctor visits and follow-ups.
2. 24/7 customer availability
Although doctors and other medical professionals can’t work 24/7, despite their incredibly demanding schedules, illnesses and emergencies can arise at any time. But rather than wasting time heading over to a hospital or clinic at 1am for something that turns out to be relatively minor, customers can input their information into the medical chatbot at any time, day or night, and get peace of mind through the response. If it requires urgent medical attention, they will be provided with the necessary emergency contact details. Alternatively, an appointment can be scheduled for another time.
3. Instant information
As mentioned, the chatbot will provide healthcare professionals with a full patient history which can be a lifesaving feature in the case of an emergency. Doctors can check out any allergies, chronic illnesses or previous treatments before deciding on emergency care.
4. They’re user-friendly
“As of 2022, WhatsApp is the most popular global mobile messenger app worldwide with approximately two billion monthly active users, outranking WeChat at 1.2 billion users, and Facebook Messenger at 988 million global users.” - Statista
Because of the prevalence of chat, people are accustomed to engaging on it and feel comfortable and safe ordering medication via these platforms. Even the most technologically uneducated are able to navigate a medical chatbot.
Healthcare professionals can also gather valuable feedback from customers via the medical chatbot to improve services. Email surveys and phone call feedback have their drawbacks – people simply aren’t interested in participating. However, they’re generally happier to engage via communication platforms which allow for quick and simple interaction.
With decades of experience in the commercial chat space, Clickatell has the expertise, latest technology and best features for your business needs. Through telehealth API they’re able to provide you with an engaging, user-friendly chat platform which allows for appointment bookings, customer support and payments – all on one platform.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.