Facebook recently announced, at the F8 Developer Conference, the integration of chat bots in its Messenger application. This will enable companies to create bots that interact with users. More than 30 companies have partnered with Facebook to create these chat bots for their services, and one of them is San Francisco based, HealthTap. HealthTap primarily offers customized health content through its 100,000+ physician base. Its paying members have unlimited access to virtual consultations.
Through the Messenger App, users can now ask health-related questions, and receive responses from HealthTap. The responses are either original or based on responses to similar questions in the HealthTap database. Bots represent yet another avenue to increase access to healthcare, and the impersonal nature of a bot could pose as a benefit in certain situations, where an actual physician is not needed.
Robots, bots, artificially intelligent computers, or other types of non-human entities are becoming a necessity in healthcare. The lack of healthcare personnel to support individualized care, as healthcare is moving towards a value-based model, is pushing innovation to pick up the pieces of care delivery where human touch is irrelevant. IHS believes that the short-term impact of such technologies lie within low-risk encounters, but in the long-term could be deployed in more acute settings as acclimatization brings man and machine closer to each other.
For questions or inquiries, please contact Roeen Roashan, Roeen.Roashan@ihs.com