By LAURA LEONARD
Doctor of Chiropractic
The recently launched AI chatbot, ChatGPT, is expected to completely revolutionize the practice of medicine.
In February of this year, ChatGPT took and almost passed the US Medical Licensing Exam with pass rates between 52 and 74 percent between three tests.
Remarkable considering medical residents average pass rate for the USMLE is 60 percent.
When the Pew Research Center conducted a survey of 11,004 Americans however, they determined that 60 percent were uncomfortable with the use of AI in their care.
Time will tell where this is all headed but it’s coming whether we like it or not.
The question is…do the pros of AI usage in healthcare outweigh the cons? Access to care, cost of care and healthcare provider burnout are big issues brought to light by the Covid-19 pandemic.
All of these issues could radically improve with the use of AI tools. Furthermore, you the consumer will have more control over your health. After all, knowledge is power.
On the other side of it, there are potential ethical issues, data protection and lack of human connection necessary for healing.
The following are five ways AI is currently being used in healthcare:
- Medical Imaging: AI is being used to analyze medical images such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. AI algorithms can quickly analyze large amounts of image data to identify patterns and anomalies that human experts might miss. This can lead to earlier and more accurate diagnoses and treatment.
- Personalized Medicine: AI is being used to analyze patient data such as medical history, genetic information, and lifestyle factors to develop personalized treatment plans. By analyzing large amounts of data, AI can identify the most effective treatments for individual patients, reducing the risk of adverse reactions and improving outcomes.
- Electronic Health Records: AI is being used to analyze electronic health records (EHRs) to identify patterns and trends in patient data. This can help healthcare providers identify areas for improvement in patient care and develop more effective treatment plans.
- Drug Development: AI is being used to accelerate drug development by analyzing large amounts of data to identify potential drug candidates and predict how they will interact with the body. This can lead to faster development of new treatments for diseases.
- Virtual Assistants: AI-powered virtual assistants are being used to improve patient engagement and communication. Patients can use virtual assistants to schedule appointments, ask questions about their health, and receive reminders about medications and treatments.
Disclaimer … the above five items were written for me using the Chat GPT assistant and are copied word for word.
Furthermore, the quality of this answer was so good that it prompted me to ask the chatbot a medical question.
“I have low back pain with leg pain. What caused it and how do I fix it?” The answer was detailed and surprisingly accurate.
Quite frankly, I’m not sure if I could improve on that as a healthcare provider.
What would have taken me 20 minutes to write only took the chatbot 10 seconds. Judge for yourself.
“Low back pain with pain radiating down the leg is a common symptom associated with a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica is caused by compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body, running from the lower back down through the hips, buttocks, and legs. Sciatica can be caused by a variety of factors, including a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or a spinal injury. It’s important to see a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment, as the underlying cause may require different interventions. In the meantime, there are some self-care measures you can take to manage your symptoms. These include gentle stretching exercises, hot or cold compresses, and over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. However, be sure to consult with a medical professional before starting any new treatment regimen.”
Where is all this going?
AI is not intended as a replacement for medical providers. Chat GPT and technologies like it, are meant to improve workflow by being a virtual assistant to the provider. A human being is still required to sign off on your diagnosis and any treatment decisions that are recommended. Today and in the near future, this is where AI will remain.
Nadeem, R. (2023, February 22). Acknowledgments. Pew Research Center Science & Society. https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2023/02/22/ai-health, Aunger, C. (2023, March 7).
Council Post: ChatGPT, Machine Learning And Generative AI In Healthcare. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2023/03/07/chatgpt-machine-learning-and-generative-ai-in-healthcare