“Hey Google, I Don’t Feel Well”
A true story following a Thanksgiving Day mishap—”Hey Google, I burned my hand.” Forgoing care at the nearest urgent care, I opted for the next best thing—Google Nest.
The virtual assistant advised immersing my hand in cool water (not ice water), applying petroleum jelly three to four times daily and not putting butter, vanilla or ointments on the burn as those could cause infection. I found basically the same tips on WebMD.
According to Google Insights, more than 700 million people turn to Google devices every month as their personal assistants. Add in Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and other virtual assistant software, and there’s infinite information being disseminated by artificial intelligence (AI).
Based on changing consumer patterns, much of the quick information they seek is likely to be healthcare-related. To ensure the reliability of that information, AI needs to be part of healthcare marketing strategies.
Consumer demand drives AI and other digital healthcare tools, which have increased dramatically since the start of the pandemic. According to the Huron 2022 Healthcare Consumer Market Report:
- 78% of consumers participated in telehealth visits last year.
- 53% of survey participants are likely to switch providers for superior virtual care offerings.
- 34% of consumers consider themselves digitally inclined—a significant shift in the youngest (ages 18 to 44) and fastest growing consumer segment.
AI Virtual Assistance
AI is being used in healthcare for everything from virtual assistants setting reminders for wellness checks and mammograms to screening for breast cancer.
Machine learning algorithms, which drives the talk behind AI, can also help target ideal patients much the same as social media apps push content based on user patterns.
Considering the millions of people turning to virtual assistants, it’s imperative to constantly update hours, addresses, services, maps and other digital information. Check Google listings bi-monthly; ask Siri and Alexa health-related questions to ensure the reliability and relevancy.
Chatbots are virtual assistants. With the help of matching learning and natural language processing, chatbots help to personalize online experiences. They address simple questions, handle scheduling requests from patients or guides users to relevant information. Optimize the user experience with chatbots on the health system’s website, patient portal or service line app by routinely testing the virtual assistant.
The first step in the search process is directing patients to the correct information and ultimately to a website. Getting them there quickly requires SEO to be more intuitive for AI, since 70% of requests are in natural language rather than web search keywords.
AI In Clinical Settings
Any type AI being used in clinical settings deserves the marketing spotlight. It’s the newest shiny object, much like 3D mammograms and robotic surgery before it. However, unlike those innovations, AI is a two-way partner in the healthcare journey. We ask questions; it answers back.
Dr. Ayanna Howard, one of the world’s leading experts on robotics and the intersection of AI and humanity, predicts in 10 to 20 years, all industries will be influenced by AI.
AI can ease the workload for physicians. The end goal for both—doctor and AI—is recognizing patterns. Nearly 500 healthcare AI startup companies raised a record $12 billion in funding last year. AI assisted tasks include streamlining patient intake with text-based AI chatbots; “virtual medical residents” that prescreen patients; and AI triage-guidance tools.
Mayo Clinic researchers are using AI to predict how patterns of changes in pregnant patients can identify whether vaginal or cesarean births are less risky. The University of South Alabama Health offers enhanced colonoscopy aided by AI to detect polyps with visual markers in real time.
AI Assisted PR
AI isn’t just for clinicians and researchers. It can make marketing and public relations much easier.
A new study by PRophet and The Harris Poll reveal that 92% of public relations (PR) professionals believe AI is worth exploring. Of participants surveyed, 55% said AI would be useful when crafting PR materials and predicting media interest.
Imagine the time saved when pitching if we know who is actually interested. According to a study from PR company Propel, journalists responded only to an average 3.25% of pitches they received in Q2 2022.
The PRrophet platform can algorithmically figure out which journalists are most likely to take an interest in a pitch and what they sentiment is likely to be.
Whether growing brand awareness, amplifying messages or forecasting clinical complications and treatments, AI is now the future of healthcare in the present.
TotalCom is a full-service marketing agency helping brands like yours tell their story to the right audiences. Email Lori Moore or call TotalCom Marketing Communications at 205.345.7363 to see how TotalCom may be the right fit for you.