The rise of AI chatbots in the healthcare industry has brought many benefits to medical providers and patients alike. With the automation of some daily operating procedures such as help line, billing, setting appointments, and marketing, medical providers are now able to zero in on providing a more focused, reliable, simplified and systematic client service.

On the other hand, patients also gain access to a 24/7 AI-enabled personal health assistants that facilitate the monitoring of their physical activities, health status, pill intake, doctor appointments, etc. In the absence of a nurse or the nearest doctor who provide assessment and relevant input, patients now also obtain a more precise response or information for when they want to know the whys and hows of their symptoms without having to make an online search.

As defined by IBM, “A chatbot is a computer program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand customer questions and automate responses to them, simulating human conversation.”

To date, there are three basic known types of chatbots designed to address users’ needs in healthcare. These chatbots differ in their conversational approach, the solutions they provide, and the depth of their communication.


Informative chatbots are easy to identify since they offer automated information and customer support to users in the form of push notifications, pop-ups and breaking stories. This type of chatbot is often found on health news sites as well as mental health sites.


Conversational chatbots utilize NLP (Natural Language Processing), NLU (Natural Language Understanding), ML algorithms and applications of AI to learn human language and intent. This is how chatbots are able to communicate with users comprehensively. However, conversational chatbots vary in the depths of the conversation they offer and in the level of their maturity when emulating human interaction.

Chatbots with Level 1 Maturity are expected to respond only with predefined answers to clear and sensible questions and do not have the capability to produce more responses if the user continues with further questions.

On the contrary, chatbots with Level 2 Maturity are equipped with higher intelligence and can, therefore, understand users on a contextual level. They respond not just with predefined but also more personal answers that truly mirror real human interaction.

This type of chatbot is most commonly useful in client-facing touchpoints like scheduling appointments, providing medical information, answering FAQs, or even handling insurance inquiries.


Prescriptive chatbots may be easily mistaken for conversational. But apart from the conversational style that they offer, they are also designed to recommend therapeutic solutions. The main feature of prescriptive chatbots is to assist people by providing a step-by-step direction towards treating the disease or disorder that the person is suffering from. Those who have depression, anxiety and/or mood disorders and chronic conditions may find this chatbot handy because it has the capability to keep up with comprehensive dialogues and even help patients reshape their behavior and thought patterns.

Interactive chatbots are very promising in the healthcare industry. They may not directly substitute the expertise of medical professionals or experts; neither can they take full control of patient care delivery, but fusing the two significantly enhances healthcare settings. In today’s digital landscape, it is undeniable that AI-based chatbot is a must-have.