A new report from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that annual cost savings derived from the adoption of chatbots in healthcare will reach $3.6 billion globally by 2022, up from an estimated $2.8 million in 2017. This growth will average 320% per annum, as AI (artificial intelligence) powered chatbots will drive improved customer experiences for patients.
Using chatbot systems, patients will be able to access care more quickly and easily, improving access to care and reducing pressure on overworked healthcare systems by ensuring more efficient interactions, according to the research group. Juniper found that, despite trials by, for example, the UK’s National Health Service, chatbot deployment will be dominated by Far East & China over the next five years. Over half of the annual savings realized by chatbots will be attributable to this region in 2022. Owing to the varied quality of care in countries such as China, chatbots will be useful for directing patients to appropriate services, which in turn will drive adoption.
The research predicted that chatbots, when used to triage patients, would have a dramatic impact on healthcare efficiency. Juniper urged service providers to focus on overcoming the current poor level of interoperability of many healthcare IT systems in order to enable chatbots to unlock the full benefits possible. Additionally, it cited data security as critical towards maintaining patient trust.
Additionally, the research found that chatbots face substantial challenges in developed healthcare systems, such as those in the US and UK. Systems at a mature stage of development are generally more conservative in introducing new technology than others, often resulting in inefficient care.
Juniper believes that this conservatism will slow chatbot adoption relative to emerging markets such as China and India, where small-scale deployments are already occurring.