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Helping UK’s National Health Service Thrive With DRUID Conversational AI
As AI emerges as a beacon of hope to improve health services, a 2023 report from the UK government estimated that AI has the potential to save the NHS £22B annually by 2030
Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) was established in July 1948 to offer free medical care for the UK population. It is the stuff of history and legend, with few people now working in it who were born when it began.
Much of the story of the NHS has been about the interaction between those needing care and those who deliver skilled care. Today, as the NHS faces new challenges, its story needs to evolve. Faced with burgeoning demand, finite resources, and the eternal quest for efficiency and quality, the NHS must explore technology solutions to survive but thrive in the 21st century.
By enhancing patient experience, streamlining operational efficiency, and bolstering staff well-being, generative AI infused conversational AI offers a multifaceted approach to tackling the healthcare challenges of today and tomorrow.
This article delves into how DRUID's conversational AI technology can revolutionize the NHS and prime it for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
DRUID’s Generative AI infused Conversational AI Platform
Conversational AI, short for Conversational Artificial Intelligence, is a field of artificial intelligence (AI) that focuses on creating software and systems capable of engaging in natural, human-like conversations with end users.
Conversational AI platforms, such as DRUID’s, are designed to understand and generate human language, allowing them to interact with people in a way that feels intuitive, caring and responsive.
This offers a wide variety of potential benefits for the NHS, addressing key challenges in improving patient care, operational efficiency, and staff well-being.
Whilst talk is cheap, or so the old saying would have us believe, conversations have tremendous value. As such, leveraging cutting-edge conversational AI technology is imperative to enhance patient experiences and optimize operational efficiency .
Virtual conversational AI assistants have the potential to revolutionize the way healthcare organizations engage with patients and streamline critical processes. For example:
- Virtual Healthcare Assistants: DRUID AI-powered virtual assistants can seamlessly guide patients through a wide variety healthcare touchpoints. AI powered virtual assistants excel in answering basic medical inquiries, disseminating accurate information prevention strategies, scheduling appointments, managing prescriptions, and even providing post-operative support. Virtual assistants can accomplish all this while significantly reducing the workload on healthcare staff and provider call centers .
For instance, Regina Maria's AI chatbot can identify a patient from a database of over 5 million electronic medical records. The chatbot collects conversation recording approval and GDPR validation before directing the patient to the specialized contact center agents, saving 3 minutes per each interaction and optimizing contact centre resource allocation.
- Symptom Checking: AI-powered symptom checkers can play a pivotal role in providing initial assessments to patients. For example, leading healthcare provider Regina Maria’s virtual assistant MARIA helped book over 8,000 new patient symptom checking appointments in 2023, resulting in notable staff efficiencies. In addition, AI chatbots can suggest approved self-care routines and direct patients to the appropriate level of care. By doing so, they can help alleviate the strain on general practitioners (GPs) and emergency services, whilst ensuring that patients receive timely and accurate guidance.
- Remote Monitoring: DRUID AI's capabilities extend to facilitating remote patient monitoring for chronic conditions. This entails collecting biometric data and sending reminders for medication schedules. Through early intervention and improved disease management, remote monitoring empowers healthcare providers to offer proactive care, ultimately benefiting patients and healthcare systems.
Every largescale organization needs a base of administrative functions to run. AI-driven solutions can play a crucial role in ensuring high-quality patient care is administered and delivered whilst simultaneously contributing to a 33% improvement in staff efficiency, a 25% reduction in employee turnover, and enhanced employee engagement by 20% (Accenture). For example:
- Administrative Automation: DRUID can automate repetitive tasks such as appointment booking, data entry, and insurance verification. This greatly reduces the administrative burden on healthcare staff so that they can focus on more important work that delivers better patient outcomes.
For example, in 2023, Regina Maria, a prominent healthcare provider in CEE, utilized their virtual assistant named MARIA to efficiently schedule over 10,000 new patient appointments resulting in significant time savings and increase in revenue. By eliminating these time-consuming activities, Regina Maria healthcare staff can redirect their efforts towards providing better patient care, resulting in improved patient satisfaction.
- Predictive Analytics: By analyzing vast datasets, AI can accurately predict patient demand, optimize staff scheduling, identify potential bottlenecks within the healthcare system and provide this insight to healthcare providers. This foresight allows healthcare organizations to operate more efficiently, reduce resource wastage, and ensure a smoother healthcare delivery process.
- Clinical Decision Support: DRUID AI virtual assistants can assist healthcare professionals by offering relevant medical information and suggesting evidence-based treatment options. This invaluable assistance enhances clinical decision-making, leading to a 33% improvement in staff efficiency (Accenture), improved patient outcomes and the delivery of higher-quality patient care.
Healthcare is a complex segment rife with inefficiency and that inefficiency impacts staff well-being. But healthcare providers now have a creative solution that will help them target large and immediate cost savings in both the front and back office operations, as well as front line medical care, and that solution is conversational AI. For example:
- Mental Health Support: AI Chatbots can provide confidential mental health support and resources for staff, to help them manage stress and address the challenges of their roles. Conversational AI combined with Generative AI has been proven to answer patient queries, provide information and offer support as well, if not better, than humans. In fact, a study published in JAMA, comparing physician and artificial intelligence chatbot responses to patient questions, found that responses from ChatGPT were actually preferred to those given by a physician about 79% of the time and were rated significantly higher for both quality and empathy.
- Training and Onboarding: AI-driven virtual assistants are also available to aid in staff training and onboarding by addressing queries, offering resources, and providing personalized guidance to facilitate a smoother transition into their roles.
- Administrative Burden Reduction: Automating of administrative tasks lightens the workload and paperwork burden on staff, enabling them to prioritize patient care. This, in turn, leads to heightened job satisfaction, improved overall morale and reduced among healthcare professionals.
DRUID brings a multitude of other advantages to healthcare, with each benefit contributing to an enhanced patient experience and more efficient healthcare operations.
- Improved accessibility: Voice-based interactions offer improved accessibility, particularly benefiting patients with visual impairments or disabilities. This accessibility feature ensures that all patients, regardless of their physical capabilities, have equal access to crucial information and healthcare services.
- Multilingual support: DRUID’s multilingual support capabilities cater to the diverse patient populations served by healthcare organizations. Breaking down language barriers, improves communication and ensures that healthcare professionals can effectively engage with patients from a wide variety of linguistic backgrounds, promoting better understanding and patient care.
- Cost reduction: DRUID also offers the potential for significant cost reductions within the healthcare sector. By streamlining processes, increasing efficiency, and automating routine tasks, the system can lead to cost savings for healthcare organizations like the NHS. Savings can be redirected to other critical areas of healthcare, ultimately benefiting both patients and the healthcare system as a whole.
As we stand on the precipice of a new era in healthcare, the potential of conversational AI to transform the NHS is undeniable. With more than 600 fax machines and 79,000 pagers, the NHS has a way to go before it is digitally transformed. But for now conversational AI technology holds significant potential to digitally improve the NHS by enhancing patient experience, optimizing healthcare operations, and supporting staff well-being with minimal investment.
Conversation is not a new interface, it’s the oldest interface. And with over 70% of people very open to talking to an AI chatbot it seems that digital conversation offers a significant opportunity for more, not less, interactions. Today, DRUID’s AI technology exemplifies the profound impact it can have on patient care, operational efficiency, and staff well-being.
With careful planning, collaboration, and a commitment to innovation, the NHS can leverage AI to not only navigate modern healthcare challenges but also set a new standard for excellence. The future of the NHS, powered by AI, promises a healthcare system that is more accessible, efficient, and responsive to the needs of all its users. Isn’t that something we could all benefit from?