The global healthcare chatbots market size was valued at USD 197.42 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 809.21 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 16.97% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Chatbots are computer programs that allow humans to interact and clear various queries relating to various topics, thereby benefiting from the technology. Humans send inputs via texts, messages, voices, and some other gestures to enable interaction with chatbots. Chatbots were previously exclusively used for customer support during the past ten years. Still, they have recently evolved substantially and are now used in various industries.
A healthcare chatbot facilitates the job of a healthcare provider and helps improve their performance by interacting with users in a human-like manner. Healthcare chatbots provide a personalized approach to every user in ways that can be more suitable and efficient than those delivered by human capabilities. In addition, the healthcare chatbot uses artificial intelligence to diagnose diseases and provide basic details about the disease before consulting a doctor. Healthcare chatbots are made to reduce healthcare costs and improve accessibility to medical knowledge among patients. Certain chatbots act as medical reference books that help patients know more about their disease, enhancing their health.
m-Health apps are the applications that provide information to users on general health. These apps also provide important inputs on the patient's body conditions, which, in turn, helps the doctor to diagnose the medical health conditions without directly meeting or interacting with the patient. These days, patients can easily access treatment options/recommendations with a single button through devices, websites, and various mobile applications.
Furthermore, consumers' high adoption and usage of smartphones are driving opportunities for m-Health apps in this digital era. According to IQVIA, the number of healthcare apps in the healthcare sector is more than 3,10,000, with more than 200 m-Health apps added daily. Numerous apps are now available to assist physicians and healthcare professionals in health record maintenance, consulting, accessibility activities, patient management and monitoring, and clinical decision-making. Such factors drive market growth.
The growing internet connectivity and smartphone penetration are among the most important factors boosting the adoption of chatbots in the healthcare industry. In the past two decades, communication and obtaining customer feedback have been difficult; however, it has been faster and easier in recent years. Over 4.5 billion of the world's population is estimated to be internet users.
Most smartphone users obtain health-related information from the internet. In addition, smartphone penetration in the healthcare industry is improving due to the usage of smartphones by physicians at work. It is expected that greater than 90% of physicians use smartphones. Hence, it is clear that the usage of chatbots has a wide scope across the healthcare industry, where the prerequisites like smartphone penetration and interconnectivity are already at their peak to drive market growth.
Data is the heart of any conversational AI chatbot, and this data is always used to improve the patient experience and personalize it. Besides the advantages of chatbots, many security concerns regarding data are prone to threats like malware cyberattacks, DDoS (Distributed Denial of services) attacks, and vulnerabilities due to poor coding and protection standards. Despite the technological advancements in chatbots, the concerns related to data privacy issues generate mistrust among consumers. These issues are restraining the market growth by slightly reducing the adoption of chatbots in the healthcare industry.
Chatbots powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are in high demand because they can provide customers with a more efficient and convenient service. Users value them as they are intuitive and highly responsive. These chatbots provide a more personalized customer experience, offer highly valuable customer information, help enterprises and businesses better understand their customers, and offer superior services to drive business growth.
As customers or patients want a faster and more convenient experience, developers consistently focus on bringing realistic experiences to customers. In this context, AI-based chatbots are widely popularized for better customer interaction. In order to improve customer services, chatbots need intelligence as customers are used to the experience offered by live voice assistants. Medical professionals in the healthcare industry are keenly aware of the power of artificial intelligence; thereby, the adoption of AI in healthcare settings has huge acceptance by healthcare professionals, creating opportunities for market expansion.
The global healthcare chatbots market is bifurcated into end-user, mode of delivery, component, and application.
Based on end-user, the global healthcare chatbots market is divided into healthcare providers, patients, payers, and others.
The healthcare providers segment is the most significant contributor to the market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 17.91% over the forecast period. Healthcare providers are the dominant users and adopters of chatbots worldwide as healthcare chatbots improve the quality of life and make medical and health-related events and services more accessible to patients. Hospitals are the major high-revenue contributors among healthcare providers in the global healthcare chatbot market. Hospital chatbots can swiftly and conveniently connect patients with medical specialists or recommend the appropriate specialist based on the initial assessment. In addition, chatbots help to book appointments based on the doctor's availability. The chatbots engaged in the hospitals have a better conversation rate when a visitor chats on the website; hence, hospitals can achieve better customer interaction on their websites with the help of these chatbots.
Based on the mode of delivery, the global healthcare chatbots market is bifurcated into cloud-based and on-premise.
The cloud-based segment dominates the global market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 18.77% over the forecast period. There is a huge strain on the current healthcare system due to the quick rise in the prevalence and incidence rates of chronic diseases worldwide. Hence, healthcare systems are more interested in adopting digital healthcare services and digital health tools to face the hurdles in the conventional healthcare system. In addition, the adoption of cloud-based healthcare chatbots in healthcare systems plays a significant role in managing the overcrowding and influx of patients in hospitals and other healthcare facilities while maintaining healthcare information and offering a customer-friendly experience. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics 2016 cloud survey found that cloud-based technologies will likely become critical tools for all healthcare IT infrastructure initiatives, such as virtual care and healthcare chatbot services.
Based on components, the global healthcare chatbots market is segmented into software and services.
The software segment is the highest contributor to the market and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 18.27% during the forecast period. The software products are designed to be executed by in-built or customized software to build any technologically advanced products. Therefore, the underlying software is responsible for the smooth functioning of products like healthcare chatbots. The chatbots function similarly to the software, accessible via a web browser. There are two types of chatbots: artificial intelligence-powered machine-learning and rule-based chatbots. In addition, chatbots powered by artificial intelligence software are the most complex compared to rule-based chatbots, as machine-learning chatbots tend to be more conversational, data-driven, and predictive. The AI software-based chatbots have the potential to not only understand the patient's intent no matter how the questions are phrased but also to deliver accurate answers. For instance, they can diagnose the disease based on the symptoms checker and book appointments for consultations.
Based on application, the global healthcare chatbots market is bifurcated into symptom checking and medication assistance and appointment booking and medical guidance.
The symptom-checking and medication assistance segment owns the highest market share and is predicted to exhibit a CAGR of 18.06% over the forecast period. Chatbots play a significant role in the individual patient space. As the number of chatbot-based symptom checker apps has increased in the mobile application market, these symptom checker apps assess medical symptoms using chatbots that have conversations with users. The patients input their symptoms through voice assistant or text and obtain diagnosis through communication with the chatbot embedded in the symptom checker application. For instance, Mediktor is the world's most advanced and accurate symptom checker for pre-diagnosis and decision-making support. It is an AI-based solution that users can easily interact with and describe their symptoms in the natural language. Patients can easily adopt patient-centric smartphone apps and easily access through chatbots to avail of potential benefits like symptom checking and medication guidance. For instance, Safedrugbot is a chatbot that performs different searches to find important information on the drug's active ingredient or brand name.
Based on region, the global healthcare chatbots market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global healthcare chatbots market shareholder and is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 17.79% over the forecast period. The market in North America is growing at a healthy rate compared to the other regions and is likely to dominate the market in terms of growth over the forecast period. The growth is mainly attributed to many supportive factors, like the availability of advanced healthcare and infrastructure, followed by favorable initiatives by the government in supporting digital health. In addition, technological advancements in mobile health technology, the wide adoption of m-Health applications, and its increased awareness are significant factors contributing to the growth of healthcare chatbots in this region. The healthcare chatbot penetration in the North American region has huge potential due to a favorable environment and internal factors like increased usage of smartphones and high internet connectivity. According to a recent Ericsson report, 92% of US households have a mobile phone, and the US and Canadian population is easily adapted to smartphones, laptops, and tablets as essential devices in their daily lives.
Europe is anticipated to exhibit a CAGR of 15.72% over the forecast period. The increasing awareness of using chatbots as an effective medium for all health-related events and easy access to medical consultation through virtual assistants are among the significant drivers contributing to the growth of healthcare chatbots in this region. In European countries, there has been a significant shortage of healthcare professionals to meet the demands of patients. Hence, in recent years, digital health in European countries has evolved significantly, and its adoption is rapidly increasing, which indicates the growing acceptance of healthcare chatbots among patients and hospitals. Earlier, people were more reluctant to use digital health and telemedicine services parallelly; however, over the past few years, patients have been easily adapting to chatbots and their services, further increasing the penetration of healthcare chatbots among the European population.
The Asia-Pacific market has recently experienced rapid growth, which is projected to continue during the projection period. Many significant factors are contributing to the growth of healthcare chatbots, such as favorable initiatives taken by the government in various countries and striving to amalgamate digital services into the healthcare systems. In addition, the shift of the patient pool from conventional treatments and diagnostic and medical consulting methods to easily accessible platforms like telehealth and digital health has been widely popularized in the region, wherein healthcare chatbots have played a prominent role. As the Asia-Pacific region has a high prevalence of chronic diseases and a severe shortage of healthcare professionals, especially in remote and rural areas, healthcare chatbots for medical and health-related events are rapidly rising.
In Latin America, the technological aspects are very robust and provide a wide scope for adopting healthcare chatbots due to high smartphone penetration and good internet connectivity. Latin America had about 156 million smartphone users in 2015, which was set to grow at 12% YoY through 2019, with a population of around 652 million in 2020. Latin America hosts some of the most dynamic and emerging economies characterized by a distinct set of challenges and opportunities for the growth of healthcare chatbots.
In the Middle East and Africa, the healthcare chatbot market is in the initial stages of development. Growth is expected to slow during the forecast period compared to other regions across the globe. The technological advancements and their implementations in the healthcare sector have already begun. However, the incorporation of AI in healthcare is still nascent, and healthcare chatbots in this region are in the early stages of development. The healthcare chatbot market in the Middle East and Africa is witnessing favorable technological advancements in the areas of digital health services and digital health tools. The increase in chronic diseases in this region offers huge scope for adopting digital health tools due to a shortage of healthcare professionals.
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