5 min read
Kevin Tran - Oct 16, 2019

4 Reasons to Use Chatbots in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry

Gartner predicts that chatbots will replace 85% of customer service interactions by 2020. With advancements in technology and the rise of artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces, consumers across industries are increasingly more likely to interact with a bot than ever before.  


Coming in various forms such as mobile applications, website-based applications, Facebook Messenger, and telecommunication, chatbots are redefining the way pharmaceutical and healthcare companies interact and engage with their clients. Their ability to mimic human conversations through text and auditory means can prove beneficial to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. This is because the service allows for personal, one-on-one conversations with customers, patients, and health care providers (HCPs). 


Furthermore, with the use of intelligent virtual assistants, through the exploitation of chatbot technology, pharmaceutical companies can develop a strong relationship with HCPs and patients by communicating with and assisting them directly.  As consumers and patients become more empowered, the desire for instantaneous information also increases. The use of chatbots can fill this void and benefit the company and its customers.


In this blog post we will discuss the 4 major reasons why the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry should utilise chatbots. Also, check out our Q&A with a seasoned digital specialist on the future of chatbots within the Asia Pacific's pharma market!


Here are 4 major reasons why the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry should leverage chatbots: 


1. Provide Access to Medical Information and Treatment Reminders

Incorporating a chatbot allows pharmaceutical companies to have a virtual assistant provide information to users on a variety of topics. These include:

  • Inquiries on certain health conditions
  • Procedures on complex drug administration
  • Instructions on using specific medical devices
Not only does it have the ability to answer questions, but it can also serve to educate users about treatment, side-effects, disorders, and disease profiles.


For example, once a patient is prescribed a treatment plan, the chatbot can help the patient adhere to the treatment schedule. It can also inform patients of potential side effects, what to do if they experience side effects, and provide daily reminders on when the treatment should be administered. 


2. Automate Repetitive Processes in Customer Service and Sales 

Chatbots have the ability to integrate into a company’s customer relationship management (CRM) system and automate repetitive processes that pharmaceutical sales representatives face (e.g. reminder updates, setting up meetings with HCPs, push notifications, placing sample orders, etc.) As a result, this can free up valuable time for sales reps to focus on meaningful tasks that build more personalized relationships with more HCPs.

Conversely, when dealing with customer service, chatbots can significantly reduce the burden on customer service representatives by answering common questions around the clock. This frees up time for the customer service reps to handle more complex situations that require human interaction.  


3. Promote New Medical Products and Devices

Chatbots can be used to promote new medical products and diagnostic devices. Customers can use the bot to ask about different queries, user information, product demos, product catalogs, and whatever else they may need. With these online chatbots, companies are able to store conversational data that can gain helpful data-driven insights, which can prove useful for planning marketing campaigns and identifying consumer behaviors. 


4. Report Potential Adverse Effects and Non-Compliance

Companies can also deploy chatbots to report potential adverse effects (depending on local regulations and if patient health information is respected), non-compliance, and overall complaints. If consumers have potential issues that arise, they can easily get in contact with a chatbot on the product page to express their concerns. Chatbots can then analyze the complaints and escalate the issue if necessary. Insights can also be collected from this, as it provides key metrics in potential product defects or unforeseen side-effects/adverse-effects. 


Bonus: Discover how pharmaceutical and healthcare companies can bridge gaps in their pharmacovigilance strategies by deploying social chatbots and other digital methods.


🤖Examples of Chatbot Implementations in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Industry. 

Reaching the far corners of healthcare, chatbots have provided the possibility to revolutionize how we connect with consumers and how we perform our job functions: 


Interested in dissecting more key trends and opportunities facing pharmaceutical companies in Asia Pacific? Check out our free industry report! 


Written by Kevin Tran

With experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector, Kevin is eager to discover new technology and methods to transcend patient healthcare. In his downtime, he enjoys traveling and playing video games.