NEVA. Genetic Testing Chatbot for Natera Inc.

What was the problem

Natera is a global leader in cell-free DNA (cfDNA) testing that has been offering genetic testing for more than 10 years. With more than 1300 employees in 90 countries, Natera offers proprietary testing services to physicians, researchers, and clinicians in women’s health, transplant and cancer, and genetic laboratories through its cloud-based software platform.

Millions of people take genetic tests every year, and the number is rapidly growing. However, too few genetics professionals exist to meet the increased demand for genetic information.

This need is why our client contacted us – to help them address their patient growth by providing high-quality genetic information to more patients in a scalable way.

How did we help

We developed a healthcare chatbot that assists the company in delivering genetic education. The chatbot guides and educates patients about genetic testing and helps patients get reliable information faster and more conveniently. Also, the chatbot sends detailed explanations of test results and a patient can book a meeting with a genetic counselor. 

Meet NEVA. You can read how to work with NEVA here.

Results

Currently, there are more than 1000 chats with the bot, and the success rate is over 65%, which means that most of the patients that start the interaction complete the whole chatbot flow.

These results show that most of the patients self-assisted their needs for the test results explanation which saved valuable counselor’s time. Given these results, Natera can help providers meet the demand for genetic information and expand remote access to genetics services in a scalable way.

How did we achieve it

Planning

Together with Natera, we discussed their needs, goals, and challenges to outline the work scope, create a roadmap with the milestones, and approve the estimate. We decided to start small and build a Proof of Concept (POC) to validate the chatbot idea, and after client’s approval, we began scaling it into a full version of the chatbot.

Development

We started by outlining the initial chatbot flow and conversational design based on the documentation that the company provided. When the first version of the flow was approved with the client, we moved on to the actual coding. Here are technologies we had used:

Functionalities

The company’s current patients can log in to the portal and chat with the bot to discuss specific genetic test results.

The pre-test flow provides patients with information about specific tests. This flow educates and informs patients about the test in general, about the procedure, and who will benefit from this test. Anyone can create a patient account and talk with the chatbot to learn more about a particular genetic test.

Post-test functionality allows patients to discover and understand what test results mean in detail. If needed, the patient can schedule a session with a genetic counselor for a more in-depth explanation. This flow is designed for the company’s patients to enable round-the-clock access to information and to help the counselors save time explaining the initial results and invest more in complicated tasks and test results.

“The team is communicative, flexible, and skilled. BotsCrew is always easy to work with and delivers user-friendly solutions.”

Associate Director, Natera Inc.

Now, together with the client’s team, we are working on the next versions of the chatbot to increase patient engagement, develop new functionalities and expand the suite of products.

The tests described have been developed and their performance characteristics determined by the CLIA-certified laboratory performing the test. The tests have not been cleared or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although FDA is exercising enforcement discretion of premarket review and other FDA legal requirements for laboratory-developed tests in the US, certification of the laboratory is required under CLIA to ensure the quality and validity of the tests. CAP-accredited, ISO 13485 certified, and CLIA certified. © 2020 Natera, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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