As 2016 comes to a close, it’s time to evaluate some of the likely IT trends for the coming year, including how they’ll affect healthcare. Marketing research firms such as Gartner have offered predictions for technologies that will continue attracting large amounts of investment and spending.
Conversational systems are one kind of IT development to keep an eye on, as we’re increasingly working with them in a variety of situations. For example, virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa are already popular. Different kinds of software and devices with conversational interfaces are set to become a regular part of the IT landscape. We’ll be texting at them or speaking to them to accomplish various tasks, and they’ll be chatting right back at us.
How can these systems improve customer centricity in healthcare?
The following are just a few examples of the role conversational systems can play:
Health and fitness apps. People use a variety of apps for improving and monitoring health habits, such as food intake, exercise progress, stress levels, and hours of sleep. Having some kind of conversational interface can encourage people to stick with an app, share information, and receive encouragement.
Medication adherence. Conversational systems can facilitate adherence to a medication regimen. They may add a personal touch as they inquire after a patient’s well-being in a sympathetic tone, provide reminders, address concerns, and offer other forms of assistance that increase the chances of adherence. This is especially beneficial for people who live alone or who are elderly.
General answers and explanations. There is a lot of health-related information floating around online from a range of sources; some of these sources are reputable, while others are doubtful at best and deliberately harmful at worst. Along with posing queries to the Internet more broadly, people may also direct questions to a specific entity, such as a doctor’s office or a website for a pharmaceutical company. In all of these scenarios of asking questions and hopefully receiving a relevant and accurate answer, conversational systems can play an important role.
Scheduling and other routine functions. Through conversational systems, people may make appointments and more generally manage healthcare scheduling, whether they’re patients or practitioners. Other functions may include confirming insurance coverage and placing orders.
Device usage. Medical devices exist for a range of purposes and conditions, such as checking blood pressure and administering insulin. As devices continue to evolve, they may increasingly respond to speech and texts, possibly making them easier to use.
All of these functions can potentially improve customer centricity by helping patients participate more fully in their own treatment and nuture their commitment to their health. There are some challenges to implementing these systems, including keeping the data safe from unauthorized parties, but they might be a worthwhile investment.
To hear more about how you can harness digital to enhance your customer’s experience, attend the 2nd Pharma Digital & Multichannel Marketing Boot Camp, taking place February 7-8, 2017 in Burlingame, CA at the Hilton San Francisco Airport Bayfront. This intensive two-day program not only teaches you strategic processes, it also gives you the tools and skills you need to gather insights and develop your own digital and multichannel programs. To learn more about this event please download the brochure or visit the website. Click here to register and be sure to mention Priority Code C649BLOG.