Hands-free voice assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana are fast becoming everyday names. Alexa, for example, jumped 325% in monthly active users since 2016.
In the healthcare industry, the story is the same. A significant 23% of U.S. physicians now report that they use voice assistants at work.
There are many ways in which pharmaceutical companies can use these as new business opportunities.
Let’s take a look at a few key ones.
Getting Your Brand Talked About
One of the most exciting opportunities is that you can get your brand talked about – literally – inside of doctors’ offices.
Every time a doctor asks a question, there’s an opportunity for the device to respond with your brand name. This will put your pharmaceutical products at the forefront of the doctor’s mind.
This is called “non-personal promotion.” It is a very time-efficient method for marketing products that is convenient for both parties.
This requires some hard work, as you need your company’s drugs to be suggested by the device right away. The obvious risk is that your competitor’s drugs will be talked about instead of yours!
Helping to Provide Information
Specialized devices could be used in the future to help doctors find out information just by talking.
This type of interface is known as a chatbot. It could keep the doctor’s hands free while they examine patients, and record notes for them as well.
Doctors could ask the device questions about symptoms, treatments, and dosages. The system would then be able to respond with appropriate answers.
Advanced systems might also offer advice on when to send patients for further tests with a specialist. Or, they could recommend when to send them home with a prescription – and what to put on that prescription!
Could Voice Assistants Help To Diagnose Disorders?
The technology is in its early days. But there have been tentative suggestions that these devices have the potential to help directly diagnose conditions.
We are not saying this is currently possible. But there is some very interesting ongoing research. For example, scientists are looking into the potential use of these devices to diagnose PTSD in war veterans.
If these units can identify patterns in speech that signify this, it is possible that they may have future uses. For example, they may be able to indicate the development of other diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. This is because in these cases, speech patterns are known to deviate from the norm.
Specialized voice assistants that are sensitive enough to pick up on these signals could be a major breakthrough for the pharmaceutical industry.
The Future of Medicine
These voice-activated devices offer the pharmaceutical industry a range of new opportunities to explore.
We may soon have systems that send patients a summary of their appointments. This could provide them with reminders about their medication, dosages and any further action they should take to speed recovery.
In the future, patients may even own similar devices. These could dispense medical advice for non-serious ailments and make recommendations for home treatments.
There’s definitely room for plenty of health technology development using voice assistants. Will it be your company which is remembered as a pioneer? Follow along as we continue to learn about the future of this technology!