What does ChatGPT mean for Healthcare?

ChatGPT may be the fastest-growing consumer internet application to have ever been launched. Launched in November, the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot developed by OpenAI reached 100 million users in just two months. Its unprecedented popularity can be attributed to its impressive capabilities. The man who ignited the home computer revolution, Bill Gates, believes ChatGPT will ‘change the world,’ claiming that AI is just as important as the PC and the internet.

What can ChatGPT do, and why is it so popular?

Once a thing of science fiction, AI is now widely used, even in our daily lives – often without us thinking about it. However, until recently, AI could not truly understand the content. While AI has been able to read and write, it has lacked that next level of intelligence that comes from understanding. With Chat GPT, it seems this next level has been unlocked.

ChatGPT exists in the form of an AI-enabled chatbot that mirrors intuitive human conversation. It can write articles, essays, job applications, and even jokes and poetry in response to text prompts. Since it was introduced to the world in November 2022, Chat GPT has wowed the world with its capabilities, having passed law exams at the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvanias Wharton School of Business, written feature-length articles, and coded full websites.

The popularity of ChatGPT is fueled by human curiosity about the vast capabilities of the technology. Its newness and applicability to a wide range of industries mean its full potential is yet to be discovered. Leaders in all sectors have already begun to explore what it could do for them. ChatGPT is poised to disrupt numerous industries, and search engines, education, graphic design, research, healthcare, retail, banking, manufacturing, logistics, and travel are already identified as those that stand to benefit from the technology.

Here, we focus on how it can be used in healthcare, how it may cause a shift in the industry, and what ethical implications must be considered.

“How might ChatGPT revolutionize healthcare?”

There are many potential applications of ChatGPT in healthcare, and the extent to which ChatGPT might improve healthcare may cause a profound shift in our healthcare systems.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a rise in the use of telemedicine, and ChatGPT can facilitate this shift towards the remote management of healthcare by developing virtual assistants to book patient appointments, help patients receive treatments, and manage their health information.

While human doctors will always be needed to make the final call on healthcare decisions, ChatGPT can assist with clinical decision support by providing real-time, evidence-based recommendations such as flagging potential drug interactions, suggesting treatment options for a specific condition, and providing relevant clinical guidelines.

Medical record keeping is another area where ChatGPT will likely improve healthcare systems. Here, it could summarize patient medical histories, effectively streamlining the record-keeping process. Theoretically, healthcare professionals could dictate to ChatGPT, which could automatically summarize the key details.

Real-time translation is another function of ChatGPT that can be leveraged in healthcare. The system’s advanced language processing capabilities could be capitalized on to quickly and accurately translate technical terms and medical jargon, ensuring patients fully understand their diagnosis, treatment options, and medical instructions.

Clinical trials are vital to the advancement of the healthcare system. They are pivotal to developing new treatments, diagnostic tools, and preventative strategies. Clinical trials need many participants, and recruitment can be challenging. ChatGPT could identify patients that meet inclusion criteria, helping researchers connect with patients willing to participate in the clinical trial.

Already, there are many online tools designed to check symptoms to help patients determine when medical attention is required. ChatGPT can be used to develop more accurate and reliable symptom checkers that could provide more fine-tuned guidance on the next steps.

ChatGPT also has the potential to enhance medical education. The system could provide healthcare professionals and students instant access to the medical information and resources needed to support their development.

Finally, ChatGPT has potential applications in mental health support, remote patient monitoring, medication management, disease surveillance, medical writing, patient triage, and more.


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