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Chatbots and digital assistants to enhance health care data collection

Fernando Rojas
Jun 2, 2018 · 3 min read
Photo by ev on Unsplash

Real world data are the data relating to patient health status and/or the delivery of health care routinely collected from a variety of sources. According to FDA, Real world data (RWD) and real world evidence (RWE) are playing an increasing role in health care decisions. The health care community is using these data to support coverage and regulatory decisions, and to develop guidelines and decision support tools for use in clinical practice.

RWD come from a number of sources, being electronic data records (EHR) probably the most significant ones so far today. The health care industry is looking for entirely new approaches to the EHR. Wearables, cloud-based services, mobile apps and other technologies are evolving at a consistent pace and improving healthcare data collection.

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

Wearables are not yet showing as effective as expected to enhance EHRs, because data mapping, software integrations and data ingestion are really tough tasks to overcome. Moreover, data collected by wearables might only be the tip of the iceberg of what is needed to fill out a complete health care record. This is the starting point for a new approach where chatbots, as digital assistants, can help gather more valuable patient insights.

There are multiple forms and questionnaires for the evaluation of quality of life of patients with different conditions. Quality of life questionnaires reported by the patients inform of health conditions without the interpretation or intermediation of any health care professional. These questionnaires are intended to measure the severity of symptoms and signs of the disease on a frequent basis.

These well-defined and validated questionnaires have been proven effective to measure the patient’s experience. For example, pain is one of the most reported symptoms by patients with different conditions, in most cases related not only to worse quality of life, but to their survival. Pain is a very subjective sensation, and only patients themselves can evaluate how their quality of life is affected in their daily lives. The disadvantage of the questionnaires is that in most of the cases they are only used in clinical trials, and rarely in clinical practice: they are complex questionnaires and require time to be explained. Physicians lack enough quality time to attend their patients and collect data to fill out these questionnaires.

Chatbots can facilitate patients self-evaluations and autonomy. Digital assistants can empower patients and help promote changes in their habits, and enhance the self-monitoring of symptoms. Digital assistants can be highly personalized for different patient profiles, and can motivate patients to answer questions in a very convenient way.

Navandu Technologies is currently involved in the implementation of Real World Data and Insights projects in collaboration with scientific societies, health institutions and the pharmaceutical industry.

We specialize in designing and developing digital assistants to enhance health data collection, while helping patients live better with their conditions and doctors achieve their therapeutic goals.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Thanks to a top tier software infrastructure engineered to implement medical records and protocols to assist patients with an unbeatable time-to-market, Navandu Technologies enjoys an excellent position for building next generation RWD projects.

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