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Voice As The New Interface In The Digital Healthcare

Gaurav Gupta, COO, Navia Life Care

Engaged in building the next generation voice assistant for doctors, Gaurav is responsible for maintaining relationships with various stakeholders and is highly dedicated to social cause of empowering rural India.

Healthcare is slowly but surely making rapid strides in the domain of technology. The use of Artificial Intelligence in the business of healthcare has enabled professionals to become more efficient and save the most precious commodity, i.e. their valuable time. AI helps professionals in the healthcare industry manage patient records better and create an enhanced patient experience. The shift to a largely patient centric ambience is the secret to patient retention.

What is Voice Technology & NLP?
AI has enabled virtual assistants that comprehend voice commands and convert human voice into text. The format can be pre-determined and the application helps convert speech to text. Text classification, information extraction, semantics, question answers, para-phrasing, and multi-document summaries can also be handled with ease. It is like having a virtual assistant in the room that can understand your needs and also prompt when needed.

Recent Advances in Voice technology
Voice technology has significantly evolved in the recent past. Voice assistants have become common in our phones, homes and even in the cars. From asking the assistant to setup your alarm to setup an appointment, we use them daily for different purposes.

Voice technology has helped in creating one of the most innovative ideations in the healthcare industry. Voice enabled Electronic medical Records (EMR) make the process transparent and well managed. The patient records can be maintained easily and it is a very smart way to manage patients.

The system can be used to manage patient check-in by creating and recognizing unique numbers associated with patient names or phone numbers. The virtual receptionist can actually reduce waiting time, making the patient experience positive. Doctors can manage scheduled appointments better at low cost, as no new hardware is required to be installed. Patient walk-in is streamlined substantially.

It is also possible to create electronic prescriptions in a few seconds. A printable version can be made

available too. There are many slips in the system due to illegible handwriting from busy professionals. This method can eradicate the problem with printed prescriptions that the doctor does not need to spend time in typing. All that is required is speaking the prescription out.

Some smart EMR systems also have an AI prompt built-in that flags the important diagnostic tools that may help eliminate errors in diagnosis.

The system can be used to manage patient check in by creating and recognizing unique numbers associated with patient names or phone numbers

Importance of Digital Health Records for Better Patient Outcomes & Care Quality
Primary objective of healthcare is patient care. Smart solutions that enable patients to access their digital records from anywhere, send prescriptions to the pharmacy and schedule their healthcare visits more efficiently make the industry patient centric. It becomes easier for the patient to create a treatment schedule, get second opinions and even get a better outcome for the treatment provided.

There are many instances when patients neglect an ailment or forget to schedule appointments with their doctor. The AI tool can help prompt the patient to do so. Medication prescriptions and diagnostic tests can be streamlined and scheduled within time.

If a patient loses the prescription, there are no gaps in treatment like in manual systems. The prescription is available digitally. Electronic Health Records can help in tracking treatment outcomes and increases patient retention and loyalty. There is a better chance that the time stamped entries will also help in resolving medico-legal disputes.

Happy customers mean higher revenues and more references. A healthcare professional is guaranteed more walk-ins to the clinic when he is recommended by a patient who is satisfied with the care extended to him. The network expands and revenues are improved. The bottom line is enhanced and a robust EHR system makes tracking and marketing simpler.

Why is Voice Important in Healthcare?
Most EHR systems ask the doctor to type extensively, and the purpose of using the smart application becomes redundant. Doctors should not spend time in clerical work. The majority of doctors do not like to do paperwork and are happiest when seeing patients. The resistance towards technology is not an issue with the use of a system, but more with an increased load of clerical inputs.

When voice technology is used to make the process simpler and eliminates the need to type, the healthcare professional is more accepting and appreciative of the process. The gains in customer delight and retention also improves revenues. Marketing strategies can be built around patient demographics. For example, if a clinic has more patients who walk-in with Diabetes they could be approached with tailor-made plans for pre-diabetic screening and nutrition requirements.

Minimal change in workflow is required by the doctors when they use voice technology. Most systems can be modified to suit the doctor’s prescription patterns. This reduces the burden to learn new technology and makes it easier to a doctor to embrace cutting edge technology.

The use of digital patient records is becoming a reality, and doctors need to understand the importance of creating an ambience of advancement of technology. Healthcare is an industry where the use of technology in treatment methods is maximum. So, the use of AI in the process is the next frontier to be breached to make the industry more efficient and effective.

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