HonorHealth, Loyal Team Up to Offer AI-Driven Symptom Checker
// By Althea Fung //
Connecting chat functionality with symptom checking and online scheduling helps patients find the right level of care.
When you’re feeling unwell, symptom checkers — online triage tools that identify a range of conditions a user may have based on what the user is experiencing — can be helpful. These tools can encourage patients with potentially life-threatening conditions such as stroke or heart attack to seek immediate care and reassure patients with non-emergent concerns that it’s best to stay home. But if these systems are not clinically validated, patients can be misdiagnosed.
HonorHealth, a six-hospital system serving the Greater Phoenix area, had concerns about the usefulness of its previous symptom checker. The team didn’t promote the tool because the symptom checker, which was embedded in the electronic medical record, was hard to use and didn’t accurately connect users to the appropriate level of care. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced physician practices to close, HonorHealth’s marketing team decided it was time to upgrade.
“We wanted to provide options to help people understand their symptoms. It started out with exploring a COVID-specific symptom checker. Then it extended to triaging people, no matter what symptoms they were having,” says Seth Kaplan, director of marketing and customer engagement at HonorHealth. “We wanted to provide them with as accurate a differential diagnosis as we could if that person was seeking answers on Google.”
Already searching for a live chat/chatbot vendor, Kaplan and Craig Kartchner, EVP of marketing and customer experience at HonorHealth, found two companies: Loyal, a healthcare technology company providing an end-to-end, digital healthcare platform that includes online chat services, and Infermedica, an AI-powered care triage tool, to enhance their web experience.
Read on to see how these tools recommended the appropriate level of care for patients, and helped HonorHealth reduce overutilization of high-cost health services.
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