The Rise of Voice Assistants in Healthcare
Around 153.6 million US adults used voice assistants on smartphones in 2019. Voice search technology is seeping into nearly every industry, including healthcare. As a matter of fact, healthcare providers are deploying all kinds of voice-enabled solutions to streamline operations and meet the ever-changing needs of consumers.
So how exactly is voice technology being used in healthcare? The article below covers the applications of voice assistants in the industry.
The State of Voice Technology in Healthcare
Only 1 in 13 consumers use voice assistants for healthcare. However, this figure is expected to rise as the technology matures and as more voice-enabled devices enter the market. Currently, voice applications in healthcare are in their infancy. They aren’t as advanced as those in navigation, search, or media consumption.
Due to regulations and privacy concerns, healthcare providers, for quite a long time, have been held back in terms of innovation. Lately, there has been a surge in experiments and production solutions. Nonetheless, there are still many challenges to overcome before voice technology becomes widely adopted in the industry.
The biggest challenge is privacy. If voice assistants have to handle patient information, then they must comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) law.
For transactions involving private information, healthcare providers can use Amazon’s HIPAA-compliant solutions or they can develop their own voice assistant.
Although challenging, a few healthcare providers have managed to do voice-first or voice-supported programs. Clinics and medical facilities can benefit greatly from voice solutions. Aside from automating workflows, voice technology can help enhance patient engagement, minimize the physician’s administrative burden, increase patient volume, and eliminate transcription costs.
The Top Applications of Voice Assistants in Healthcare
Consumers often use voice assistants to research symptoms of certain illnesses, medical information, nearby medical facilities, treatment options, and nutrition information. These are the top five use cases of voice assistants in healthcare.
Voice assistants aren’t used as much for buying medications or scheduling hospital visits. As transactions become safer and more reliable for consumers, it’s likely that they’ll be used more often.
About 52% of adults in the US are hoping to use voice assistants for at least one healthcare-related need. This goes to show that consumers are prepared to use voice-enabled solutions when they’re widely available.
One of the simplest ways you can do to cater to the growing needs of modern consumers is to optimize your services for voice assistants. Google Assistant has one of the largest user bases. If your business information is visible to them, they can easily feed that information to patients and prospects whenever needed. From your address and phone number to your business hours, consumers can find out the information they need without typing anything on their phone or keyboard.
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