Why Capita and Microsoft's HealthBot technology could reduce pressure on health call centres
There are exciting times ahead as the health sector faces well-documented digital transformation challenges.
As technology, including artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics become more advanced, the ways in which healthcare is delivered can become even more efficient and patient centric.
Recently we were invited to present at the Microsoft AI and Health Innovation Summit in Brussels following work we had done with them on bot frameworks as part of the AI in Health Alliance.
It was a good opportunity to share our joint approach to HealthBot technology as we believe it will have a significant impact, not only on the cost of delivering healthcare, but also on patient experience. Short for chat robots, chatbots (or bots) are computer programs that simulate human conversation, or chat, through artificial intelligence. By adding our clinical triage content into a bot framework, a HealthBot can be created, essentially allowing a patient to find out more information about their health and the symptoms they have.
One of the big talking points after the presentation was how a combination of our clinical content with Salus* , our patient relationship management (PRM) system, and Microsoft technology can be used alongside Bot technology to reduce pressures on medical call centres and reduce the number of unnecessary emergency department visits.
By using advanced technology, we can also begin to draw in all the other information we know about that patient, apply some aspects of machine learning and AI to streamline the process of directing the patient to the appropriate care for them.
The new HealthBot technology we have been developing can be used across digital and social media in a way that is very familiar to users.
The HealthBot, which could be accessed through a mobile app, social media messenger service and integrated into medical call centre systems, uses a patient's natural laymans language to access clinical support and provide care information wherever they may be. This is a great user experience for the patient – and could also have the impact of lowering call volumes whilst also directing patients to the right level of care.
As it would give patients access to self-care 24/7, the HealthBot would also help healthcare commissioners cut down on unnecessary patient visits to hospitals and doctors surgeries and reduce out-of-hours staff costs.
We think HealthBot technology is a significant step forward towards providing a connected and patient-led service. By using up-to-date and recognised clinical guidelines to help direct patients to the right level of care for their symptoms quickly and effectively, it will help to reduce pressure on local and national triage services.
We are excited to be part of developing this type of technology alongside Microsoft as part of the AI in Health Alliance bringing patients more choice, better outcomes and helping relieve pressure on care services.
*Built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salus is a purpose built PRM solution with clinical decision support triage services for local and national medical call centres. It has the interoperability to connect patients to healthcare partners and local general practitioners and improves patient aftercare services.