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Virtual Medical AssistantSometimes, people are intimidated by the authority that healthcare providers represent, leaving them in a perpetual apprehension: Should call up their doctors for clarifications about prescriptions or should they just take them? This does not only pose a problem but a huge risk on their care and overall well-being.

The presence of a go-between, someone who knows the basics of clinical language or someone who can understand what they are going through will comfort them and make patients more responsive. That is the role of  virtual medical assistants – to bridge the gap between patients and doctors. They communicate clearly and are more efficient. They will help give healthcare a more interactive revamp; through their assistance, doctors and patients can have a professional and thorough interaction.

Why is there a need for a Virtual Medical Assistant?

Doctors are always at their wits’ end in figuring out how to balance their time among all their patients, providing them with the care and attention they need. They are not superheroes; no matter how unachievable a feat they might do, sometimes. They still can’t do everything all at once. Most of all, as normal human beings, they also need to rest and eat. They get tired too, and they have families who need some of their time. As much as they want to help patients, there can only be so much that they have to do.

On another note, patients always want the luxury of their doctors’ time. They can be demanding at times but, who can blame them? They get scared. Plus, life or death situation causes panic, making people rude at times when getting the doctor’s advice in case they need one because they have to compete with the other patients. Face it, healthcare providers cater to a lot of patients every day. One patient can’t demand so much; that will be unfair to others who also need the doctor’s medical expertise. Plus, the doctor has his/her own personal life, too. He has relationships to maintain and responsibilities to attend to. He is a person, not a machine.

What can Virtual Medical Assistants do for the future of healthcare?

An infographic from Nuance Communications details just how much of a helpful ally virtual medical assistants are both to doctors and their patients. Virtual medical assistants, the infographic shows, will be “powered by clinical language understanding” by 2018. This will revolutionize the interactions of physicians with their patients, as well as improve the utilization of health records.

Care coordination support is one of the primary goals virtual medical assistants can take on. They can field all follow-up queries or just any random question patients might suddenly ask from their physicians, leaving the latter more time to do what they do best – to heal people. Taking this Q&A task off doctors’ hands, VMAs are able to help make sure that patients get the accurate and real-time information they need to feel secure. This would serve to making the transition of an inpatient to an outpatient more seamless for patients and their healthcare providers.

VMAs are able to organize and use the virtual health records doctors share with them to sift through all the data and look for a particular patient’s diagnosis and prescription, helping them to make easier and more accurate approach in patient treatment, as well as avoiding mistakes. This will also pave the way for doctors to have a more unified bank of data for their own use, wherein they can have easier access to their patients’ medical history as well as their recent health issues. This will even give doctors the chance to see how often a patient needs medical attention in a year. Patients can benefit from this, too. If their doctors have a data bank containing their records, they do not have to keep explaining recurring or congenital conditions patients might be suffering from. All they will ever need to give is their name and, their healthcare provider would instantly be able to browse through their files and see whether they have allergic reactions to the medicines.

All these will serve to make healthcare a more fluid experience for doctors and their patients. By improving communications and relations between the providers and patients, virtual medical assistants are changing the future of healthcare.