Creating Trust Around AI Chatbots

Samara Rosenfeld
MAY 14, 2019


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Consumers want solutions quickly and easily. That desire stretches far beyond the retail and business worlds and into healthcare, where stakes are higher and solutions can be more challenging to come by.

Artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots can be a convenient way for patients to get the answers they are looking for. But users are wary about the technology.

Research into chatbots have many different results.

In one study, participants using chatbots reported the need for a second opinion and feeling uneasy that the technology did not comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. But another study suggested that post-op patients who received text messages from bots showed significant improvements more quickly than those who did not.

At the 2019 World Health Care Congress in Washington D.C., Sean Mehra, chief strategy officer and co-founder of HealthTap, told Inside Digital Health™ that chatbots are going to continue to see rapid adoption among consumers because the technology provides instant gratification and guidance without having to see a doctor.

Mehra did point out that consumers will still want to see a doctor, but due to the scarce supply of physicians, AI can offer a solution to a patient in need 24/7.

He said that the more consumers use the technology, the better and more trustworthy it will be.

Ultimately, Mehra believes that AI will play a critical role in helping doctors field concerns that do not require a lot of time, and if there is a need to see a doctor, they will be there down the line.

“I actually think it will be a combination of AI that gives consumers convenience and speed and then doctors down the line who give ultimate trust, together in one flow,” Mehra said.

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