User experience on chatbot apps need improvement, report says

Though more healthcare providers are using chatbots—or conversational AI—to connect with patients, the technology needs to improve in certain areas to achieve widespread adoption, according to recent survey by UserTesting, a San Francisco-based human insight platform.

Namely, chatbots could improve upon customer service capabilities, handling complex conditions and earning the trust of users.

“Our study shows the importance of leveraging human insight to understand consumer sentiment and preference in order to create a superior customer experience––it can ultimately determine success or failure for next-gen apps like chatbots and conversational AI,” Janelle Estes, chief insights officer at UserTesting, said in a statement

The survey’s findings were based on a competitive benchmarking study of five of the top healthcare chatbot apps: Ada, HealthTap, Mediktor, Your.MD and Symptomate. The report featured responses from 500 participants who evaluated each of the chatbot apps based on several criteria: ease of use, speed, credibility, aesthetics and delight.

When it came to earning the trust of users, some were concerned about HIPAA compliance and standards, while other survey respondents wanted more background about the apps, such as reviews and other history.

On credibility, users still say issues with trustworthiness:

  • Ada earned an 83 percent credibility score from users
  • Mediktor earned a 69 percent
  • Your.MD earned an 47 percent
  • HealthTap earned a 46 percent
  • Symptommate earned a 41 percent

On complex diagnoses:

  • Nearly 74 percent of Mediktor and Ada user’s felt good about the apps' abilities to diagnose complex conditions
  • 65 percent of Your.MD users approved of its ability to diagnose complex conditions
  • About 46 percent of Symptomate users and 43 percent of HealthTap users were confident in the apps' abilities to diagnose complex conditions

None of the apps fared well in the delight category, but 73 percent of users found the chatbots helpful. Twelve percent did not find the apps helpful, and 15 percent were neutral.

“The healthcare industry is on the verge of change, with both consumers and providers anticipating solutions to meet their ever-changing needs and high expectations,” the report stated. “These apps and others in their space are in a great position to immediately start infusing customer insights into every decision they make. The difference between those that succeed and those that fail will be the reliance on human insights.”