How to Build a Healthcare Chatbot for Facebook Messenger

Technology has completely revolutionized the healthcare industry. New tools are continually being devised to help people be more informed about and involved in their own care, and to improve communication between patients and providers. The problem, however, is that many of these tools are expensive and time-consuming for a health-related company to implement.
That’s why we’re sharing information today about an innovative health-tech tool that doesn’t require a team of engineers or months of preparation to start benefiting your business. In fact, it’s something you can build yourself for free in an afternoon—no special knowledge or skills required. We’re talking about a Facebook health chatbot! We’ll cover what they are, how to build one, and the many ways in which they can serve your patients and boost your healthcare business.

How healthcare chatbots work

A chatbot is simply a piece of software that can converse with users in a humanlike style via Facebook Messenger. A bot for your healthcare business, therefore, will interact with prospective and/or current patients, clients, or customers.
There are two main types of bots for this industry. The first type helps patients track and analyze their own personal health data, or discover and purchase non-prescription health products. For example, a bot can help users monitor their calorie intake, track menstruation cycles, get reminders to take pills, browse products like vitamins and supplements, or receive information about copays, in-network providers, and other insurance questions.
The second type connects patients with care providers or offices. Bots can act as symptom-checkers based on keywords, and refer patients to a doctor when necessary. They can also be used for fast and easy appointment scheduling. Some bots are even designed to focus on mental rather than physical health, acting as a virtual therapist who can refer the patient to a human provider if necessary.

How to Build a Healthcare Chatbot for Facebook Messenger

Types of companies that can benefit from healthcare chatbots

The content of healthcare chatbots is completely customizable. That’s why the sky’s the limit—not just for their potential uses, but for types of businesses that can benefit from them, too. Although they’re an ideal tool for general practitioners, hospitals, and clinics, there are plenty of other companies in the industry who can make good use of bots as well.
Specialists, dentists, psychiatrists, hospitals, mental-health clinics, medical insurance companies, alternative and holistic health centers, medical spas, medical-supply stores, and pharmacies are all examples of other businesses in the healthcare field that can benefit from chatbots. Bots simply provide a new way to interact with your patients or customers, so most any kind of company in this field can benefit from them.

How a bot can impact your healthcare business

Patient or client satisfaction is the key to any successful medical practice or healthcare business. If patients are happy with the care or service they receive, it means you’re doing your part to improve their health—and generating revenue at the same time. Chatbots can be integral to improving this factor, because they can:

  • Provide custom care 24/7. Advice on non-serious conditions, information on products, appointment availability, and answers to FAQs are just a few things a digital healthbot can provide to users, 24/7. A bot is constantly available and consistently helpful, offering instant, customized service at any time. That’s why simply having one will show your patients that their good health—and their convenience—is your priority.
  • Simplify the patient or client’s experience.People are already accustomed to doing most every kind of task right from their phone. Allowing them to ask questions, book appointments, and buy products for their health in just a few taps adds a new level of convenience to traditionally time-consuming healthcare tasks. Plus, Messenger is a familiar app for most, so there’s no new interface to get used to.
  • Set your business apart.Bots are a relatively new tool that haven’t yet been widely adopted by healthcare providers and businesses. If your company offers one when your competitors don’t, you’ll be set apart as an organization that’s innovative and cutting-edge.
  • Save you time, energy, and money. Bots can handle a variety of user questions and inquiries automatically, day or night, taking some of the burden off of your employees. A bot can free human agents up to focus on more complex tasks, making your business more efficient and cost-effective.

Tips for building the best health chatbot

A chatbot can have a major impact on your healthcare business, so you’ll want to make yours the best it can be! To optimize your Chatfuel bot, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Give your chatbot a persona. Having your bot introduce itself by name and converse in a specific style can help users understand your brand and feel more comfortable. It’s important to make sure its tone matches your business, too. A mental health clinic’s chatbot would converse in a more formal, serious manner than, say, the upbeat, energetic style of a nutrition or health coachbot, for example.
  • Learn about your audience. Head to the People tab in the Chatfuel platform to easily identify and segment your bot’s audience. That way, you can better understand what type of user finds your bot useful and therefore what type of content to focus on.
  • Utilize the Sequences feature. Sequences are messages you can send to select groups of users on a specific schedule, which is useful for many healthcare companies. For example, the bot for a nutritionist could send a link to some recipes to a client one day after their office visit, a reminder to track calories two days after, and a message checking in on their progress one week later. These messages can be easily automated to be sent to all clients after their appointment using Sequences.
  • Incorporate AI. You can use AI to train your bot to respond based on trigger words. For example, a mental health bot could learn to provide appropriate resources to users who mention words related to“sad.” A physical symptom-checker bot could learn to offer remedies for the common cold based on trigger words like “runny nose” or“sneezing.”
  • Gain more users. Once you have your bot up and running, you’ll want to expand the number of users who interact with it for best results. One way to do this is by linking your bot to your Facebook ads. Another way is to add your Messenger bot to your website.

Healthcare-bot success stories from Chatfuel clients

There are plenty of Chatfuel clients inthe healthcareindustry who are finding great success with their bots! Here are just a few examples of top health chatbots:

How to Build a Healthcare Chatbot for Facebook Messenger

Build a bot for your own healthcare business today

The best news about bots for your healthcare company is that you can build one yourself—no coding skills or special knowledge required. To get familiar with our platform, watch the intro video or browse our how-to articles. Get a head start by using a template; you can work off of one for orthodontists or one for mental health clinics.
If you get stuck, contact our support team or head to our active Facebook community for tips and ideas. Ready to go? Sign up for Chatfuel to start building your own top health chatbot for free today—no credit card required!

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