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HealthTap is on a mission to make access to health care information and resources easier for everyone, both individually and in the workplace. However, for those outside of the U.S., it can be pretty difficult for someone to find answers to medical problems they or their loved ones are having. This is why HealthTap has brought its service to Facebook Messenger in the form of a chatbot.
With this chatbot, which the company demonstrated at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference today, patients can quickly find out what they might be suffering from and how to treat it. If that’s not sufficient, they can submit questions to more than 100,000 doctors in the U.S. or even get in contact by video or simply messaging them.
HealthTap believes by bringing its resources to one of the internet’s most popular messaging apps, it can improve people’s lives via access to free health care information. The chatbot lets people easily access the company’s library of knowledge, such as what to do if your baby has had a diaper rash for more than a week.
The chatbot also allows people to submit questions. Questions are reviewed by any of the more than 100,000 physicians who participate in HealthTap, with most getting responses within a day. If the answer isn’t sufficient, you can opt to do a live consultation with a doctor using video or text chat from within HealthTap’s platform.
HealthTap asserts that even though you’re using a bot on a Facebook property, your identity and any questions you ask will be anonymous and confidential. Neither it nor the physician will know who you are.
As much as it might make things more convenient in the U.S., in developing countries, health care information that’s more widely accessible could mean the difference between life and death. While there are certainly plenty of health-related technology companies whose services pair you with a physician remotely, such as Doctors on Demand, those are limited to voice and video calling and are app-based. By being a part of Facebook Messenger, HealthTap is already more accessible because 900 million users have the Facebook app installed on their device.
Although the functionality of the HealthTap chatbot may seem brand new, it isn’t. The company has had these features within its own mobile apps for years, but by being a part of Facebook Messenger, the health concierge-like service gets greater reach and exposure.
Each response you give to an answer will help HealthTap’s algorithm so that its artificial intelligence will be better able to surface appropriate information to your questions.
Stay abreast of the latest news on bots, messaging, and AI from MobileBeat 2016. Read our coverage here.
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