Digital transformation has impacted a number of industries over the last several years and healthcare is at the forefront. Given current margin pressures and ongoing industry changes, health plans face a strategic imperative to consider fundamental changes to their operating model. Digital initiatives serve as a catalyst in organizational transformation that can help payers reimagine their business processes and customer engagement techniques. With digital, payers can drive more efficient automation, have stronger connectivity with members, and deliver more advanced data-driven interactions.
From a technology standpoint, the buzz today is around the growing use of chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI). Chatbots and AI are primed to impact healthcare in a significant way in this era of consumerism. Consumers are taking healthcare decision making into their own hands and proactively exploring their options — including which health plans to select, what types of providers to consult, what treatments to use (and where to receive them), and how to get the most from their healthcare dollars.
Chatbots and AI can impact not only the traditional member journeys around selecting plans and choosing doctors, but also in improving the doctor-patient relationships. For example, chatbots and AI can help with online symptom checkers and patient self-diagnoses. This, in turn, cuts down unnecessary consultations, helps manage costs, and engage patients similar to a physician. In addition to the machine-learning algorithms and natural language processing currently available today, chatbots can engage patients and learn about age, gender, health complaints and so on, thus seamlessly filling the patient profile and saving patients time spent filling out medical forms.
Digital has also disrupted heavily regulated industries that are more analogous to health insurance, such as financial services. To derive maximum benefit, health plans should utilize digital innovations as a way of running their businesses. The key component that will fuel digital transformation in the healthcare industry is learning how to leverage the customer data that health plans already have access to, and using that to guide intent-driven engagement. Integrating intent-driven engagement with chatbots and artificial intelligence will be critical to health plans for success.
For health plans looking to add chatbots and artificial intelligence in their digital mandate for 2017, attend this 7.ai Webinar on Feb 21. This webinar will help executives learn:
- How to lower operation costs by using chatbots to engage members directly.
- Why combining chatbots with live chat agents is critical to producing the best results in your customer experience strategy.
- How to build a seamless customer experience that will drive up member satisfaction and loyalty.