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Chatbots help telehealth companies rethink the front desk


Most telehealth companies haven’t cracked the code to profitability yet. But a growing number are hoping automation — whether it’s text-based chatbots, questionnaires, or followups — could help them trim costs and treat more patients with fewer resources. And as Amwell CEO Roy Schoenberg points out, automation could help telehealth companies tap into a potentially more lucrative chronic care market by helping them check on patients more frequently. Still, experts warn there are risks to an overreliance on automation, including the sidelining of patients who don’t speak English or who can’t navigate the tech. “Patients who are more on the margins, who have more difficulty accessing the system, are going to have even more trouble accessing the system,” Peter Yellowlees, a psychiatrist at UC Davis Health, told Mohana. She has the full story.

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