An Overview of the Use of Chatbots in Medical and Healthcare Education

Written by:
Olia Tsivitanidou

Chatbots are becoming a trend in many fields such as medical, service industry and more recently in education. Especially in healthcare education, there is a growing interest in integrating chatbots in the learning and teaching processes mostly because of their portability and affordance. In this paper, we seek to explore the primary uses of chatbots in medical education, as well as how they are developed. We elaborate on current chatbot applications and research enacted in the domains of medical and healthcare education, We focus in the areas of virtual patients in medical education, patients’ education related to healthcare matters but also chatbots as course assistance in for enhancing healthcare professionals’ curricula. Additionally, we examine the metrics that have been used to evaluate these chatbots, which include subjective ones like the usability and acceptability by the users, and objectives ones, like their accuracy and users’ skills evaluation. Overall, even though chatbots offer a flexible solution and a vast possibility to improve healthcare education, our literature review suggests that their efficacy has not been thoroughly tested. Also, limited examples of chatbots in European Healthcare curricula have been found. These call of the need for further research towards this direction.