If your company has realized the tremendous potential that A.I. based, conversational technology holds for increasing patient engagement and enhancing the quality of care you deliver – and you’re busy vetting the wide variety of technology options out there and deciding what to include in your implementation – here are a few pitfalls to avoid before landing on a long-term solution.
- Failure to accommodate valuable unstructured data
When interacting with conversational technology, patients will share information that, while extremely valuable, can’t be fit in a traditional, relational database’s columns, rows and tables. To take advantage of this wealth of non-clinical data – such as how a patient is feeling on a given day – make sure that your tech vendor has provided an easy way to access and analyze it. Often, it’s clues from this type of data that allows physicians to identify problems before they become serious.
- Inability to fully integrate
Physicians and patients need clear streams of communication, and building a solution that doesn’t allow for easy, centralized access to the patient portal, EHR, and billing on one system etc. – or that won’t automatically record and share self or medical-device generated data – creates unnecessary obstacles that can not only hinder access to vital information, but also create a bad user experience that increases abandonment.
- Underestimate the adoption rate for boomers
Pew research shows that, while those 65+ may lag behind with digital adoption, they are still users. In fact, they are considerably less cynical in their attitudes toward new technology than any other segment of the population. While feeling positive about new technology, seniors do have a number of difficulties to overcome, such as physical challenges or fear that learning to use a new technology will be too difficult. By using conversational technology, you can provide a solution that has an extremely low learning curve.
- Overlooking what we have learned from successful apps
To ensure that your digital health technology isn’t ignored or abandoned, make sure that it’s consumer oriented and fun – even compelling – to use. Take a cue from Facebook, Twitter and other popular apps and make sure that your solution offers an engaging, hassle-free customer experience. Look for opportunities to provide integrated patient-support groups. Find ways to reward patients (and providers!) for using the technology. Make signing on simple. And be sure to offer users full control of preferences like mode of information input and frequency of notifications.
- Provide a one-size-fits-all service
With a good conversational A.I. system, you’ve got a great opportunity to ensure that care can be tailored to the needs of each individual. You can allow patients to set their own dosing schedule, provide help overcoming a patient’s obstacles to care, such as lack of disease knowledge or financial hardships, and even choose their favorite incentive strategy. The more a person can personalize their experience, the more they’ll like using it.
This article is a part of a series of articles about cognitive technology in healthcare.