By Nate MacLeitch, CEO, QuickBlox.
As healthcare advances, so does the complexity of conditions and treatments. But as the global population lives longer, doctors’ time to translate increasingly complex clinical notes diminishes. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, hospitals are looking at a labor shortage of up to 104,900 physicians by 2030.
Doctors need help documenting each patient as well as taking the time to follow up and monitor the treatment plan’s progress. Patients not sticking to treatment plans means several more check-ups, and the severity of illnesses can multiply in that time.
It’s not just about following the doctor’s orders — the sources of information and patient comprehension of the treatment plan itself all play a role in whether patients adhere to the healthcare provider’s recommendations. This is where generative AI can relieve some of the pressure. Its advanced algorithms bring years of clinical data to the fore in seconds. With sentiment analysis tools built-in, it takes this complex information and summarizes it for patients in a conversational tone so they can understand their treatments comfortably.
Let’s look at generative AI in healthcare and how the latest chatbots can help patients feel confident in understanding and completing their treatment plans.
What Is Generative AI in Healthcare?
When doctors deliver treatment plans, they must cross-analyze many data points, including clinical notes, diagnostic images, medical charts, and recordings. This unstructured data typically needs organizing into specific formats for traditional databases to comprehend. That means patients using standard chatbots and telehealth services must follow complex menu trees to find the information they seek, causing more disconnect.
This is where generative AI, teamed with sentiment analysis tools, can help doctors communicate complex topics to patients in a digestible, considerate manner. Since generative models rely on deep-learning algorithms, they can evaluate complex data, no matter the format. Patients using generative AI-powered chatbots can enter any prompt into the chat interface and receive the information they need in one click.
Moreover, the language these chatbots use can be catered to the patient, too. Often, understanding treatments can be stressful, making using simple, empathic language and tones vital for optimal comprehension.
Generative AI Helps Build Patient Confidence
Was it two pills or three? Do I need to take it with food? Every eight hours, or every three? Sometimes, all patients need is a friendly reminder that they are on track with their treatment — and a judgment-free, 24/7 place to express their doubts and concerns.
Say there’s a patient with a fractured arm, and they want to know more about why the doctor chose their treatment plan. Doctors will look at a patient’s age, medical history, and X-rays to understand the fracture type and whether to cast it or provide surgery.
Generative AI can analyze doctors’ notes, medical records, and X-rays to understand a fracture and the reason behind a doctor’s treatment choice, taking complex information and summarizing it for patients in a conversational tone and with simple terms. And, with text-to-audio features, it provides a written or verbal record to refer back to if in doubt.
In cases where healthcare professional approval is necessary, a simple message like, ‘Let me clarify with your doctor, and we’ll get back to you within X hours,’ will help patients feel heard and cared for. Furthermore, dramatically simplifying mundane work, such as repeating information, empowers doctors. They can give their full attention to patients during critical first-communication updates and follow-ups, helping them create better relationships, establish trust, and ensure patients understand and stick to their treatment plans.
Improves Communication Comprehension
Generative AI can also help patients understand the context of their treatment. Perhaps recovery involves specific exercises to follow. Text-to-video AI could help visualize movements for patients to copy, making the process more enjoyable and stress-free. Rather than wait for patients to proactively enter their AI-powered treatment plan, hospitals can also use AI to notify patients when it’s time for medication or remind them to schedule consultations. In this context, generative AI integrates seamlessly into the treatment plan, assisting patients at the point of action and clarifying their aftercare in a comprehensible manner.
Leveraging generative AI, doctors can reduce the amount of detail patients must remember on the spot — in turn, helping them retain a deeper understanding. In terms of administrative tasks, such as making notes during calls or verbal patient-doctor communication, generative AI-powered mobile apps that record conversations could automate note-taking and propose context-aware actions, such as ordering medication. Removing the need to handwrite reminders in diaries takes the pressure off both parties, allowing them to listen to one another actively. Additionally, patients can schedule appointments or check clinical information at their convenience using simple voice commands to remind themselves of what was discussed.
Generative AI calms patients’ fears by breaking down complex clinical notes or meetings into patient-friendly language. Offering information verbally, visually, or in written form makes it easier for patients to understand their conditions, treatments, and instructions.