Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere these days. From banking to customer service to fitness, robots and computers are becoming a staple in everyday life. The field of healthcare is no exception.
Tools such as chatbots can make some aspects of RA treatment easier, but there’s still some skepticism from people with the condition. Artificial intelligence such as chatbots are being used more and more often in the healthcare world. Getty Images Digital coaches have become a new tool for people trying to keep their rheumatoid arthritis (RA) under control.
The next step may be chatbots using artificial intelligence.
Are they also going to play a role in navigating the landscape of healthcare for people with RA?
Digital health, mHealth, e-medicine, telemed, and the hashtags #hcsm and #healthcareAI are taking off.
Electronic medical records and new medical apps for smartphones, tablets, and personal computers have allowed patient data and medical information to be easily stored and accessed. A conversational AI feature — such as a chatbot, for example — could provide an even more personalized layer to the healthcare tech landscape. A chatbot may help those with RA to refill a prescription or schedule a doctor’s appointment.
Chatbots can assist in customer-service related matters, or, in some cases, dole out general health advice, tips, or reminders using computer-generated responses based on user feedback. For now, patients living with RA seem to have mixed feelings about the use of chatbots and AI.“I’m not sure, as I’ve not used one before… but I do love talking with real humans,” said Heidi Foster of Washington, D.C.
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The aversion to having a “conversation” with a robot seems to be part of the issue for users when it comes to chatbots and AI.
Some health tech apps and start-ups such as Noom, which focuses on weight loss and diabetes management, employ human coaches to lessen the awkwardness of interacting with a machine.
But artificial intelligence and chatbots can have some health applications aside from scheduling appointments, setting reminders, refilling prescriptions, and accessing electronic medical records.
In some cases, AI is helping rheumatologists to diagnose RA and other medical conditions — often with great accuracy and success.[…]