AI Healthcare Chatbot: Genetic counseling is an important part of cancer prevention for patients who are at a higher risk of contracting HBOC. But getting professional help can be difficult, especially if you live outside the US or Canada.
For those living in Singapore, this won’t be a problem anymore! The National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) has launched an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot to kickstart the counseling process for patients who have a higher risk of contracting HBOC.
This AI-powered healthcare chatbot will provide general information about hereditary cancer and then link users with genetic counselors to answer their questions.
At present, patients at risk of HBOC are referred to the NCIS Cancer Genetics Clinic for genetic counseling to help them understand the pros and cons of genetic testing and discuss recommended preventive options with an expert.
Before a patient’s visit, a genetic counselor will call the patient to collect their family’s medical history for risk assessment. The call can sometimes take up to an hour as it requires the patient to have their family’s cancer history on hand.
During the initial counseling session, the patient may also feel overwhelmed by the amount of information provided and may not be able to ask all their questions immediately or go back with follow-up queries later on.
AI-powered healthcare chatbots are designed specifically to address these problems since they allow patients to access information at any time at a convenient location (e.g., home). AI Healthcare Chatbot, The NCIS hopes that this will make genetic testing easier for its patients who are currently living in Singapore but want access to personalized medical advice about hereditary cancers from experts abroad.
While genetic testing is crucial in the treatment of breast cancer patients, there remains a lack of awareness and misconceptions around genetic testing that must be addressed through counseling, according to Samuel Ow, the department of hematology-oncology at NCIS.
To that end, Ow said the chatbot will enable NCIS to reach out to patients early and “provide targeted education so that they come for their consultation better informed and ready to decide on the next step”
By providing easily accessible online support, AI-powered healthcare chatbots can help patients better understand their risk of contracting HBOC and other hereditary cancers, make informed decisions regarding genetic testing and find the support they need from experts.