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Northwell rolls out new AI chat bot

Northwell Health is making it a little less of a pain in the butt for patients who have to schedule a colonoscopy.

The health care network is rolling out a new chat bot using artificial intelligence at Southside Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in an attempt to make patients more comfortable with the procedure and reduce the frequency of people simply not showing up.

Northwell’s Colonoscopy Health Chat uses a conversational AI engine to interact with patients through email or text and address concerns and misunderstandings about the procedure.

Sabina Zak, Northwell’s vice president of community health and health services research, says that many patients who make colonoscopy appointments end up canceling or blowing them off.

“Health literacy is a strong determinant of wellness among vulnerable populations,” said Zak. “By helping patients understand their treatment and the reasons for it, we think the colonoscopy health chat will enable more patients to get the care they need and deserve.”

The software uses a platform developed by Conversa Health, which Northwell is an investor in. The health network also uses Conversa’s technology to help reduce hospital re-admissions for patients after a serious health event, as well as to assist in managing side effects in patients receiving radiation treatment.

Northwell plans to roll out several other chat programs for other patient populations next year.

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