paint-brush
How Will ChatGPT Impact Healthcare?by@devinpartida
866 reads
866 reads

How Will ChatGPT Impact Healthcare?

by Devin PartidaApril 19th, 2023
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

ChatGPT will have both positive and negative impacts on healthcare, helping in some ways but with some important drawbacks. Generative AI like ChatGPT have advanced rapidly the past few years, opening the door to many new applications. While some of those applications in healthcare are helpful, patients and doctors have to be aware of some potential risks of this technology.
featured image - How Will ChatGPT Impact Healthcare?
Devin Partida HackerNoon profile picture

ChatGPT will have both positive and negative impacts on healthcare, helping in some ways but with some important drawbacks.

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, has advanced rapidly in the past few years, opening the door to many new applications.

While some of those applications in healthcare are helpful, patients and doctors have to be aware of some potential risks of this technology. 

The Positive Impact of ChatGPT in Healthcare

ChatGPT is more than just a fun chatbot. It can be a powerful tool for automating tasks in the healthcare industry, helping doctors provide the best care possible. What positive impacts will it have on healthcare? 

Improved Patient Communication

Communication is one of the main positive impacts of ChatGPT in healthcare.

Patients can use ChatGPT to answer basic medical questions and get more info on conditions, symptoms, prescriptions, and other health info.

Of course, the information provided by ChatGPT should always be verified by a human medical professional or a reliable medical information website. 

Healthcare providers can also use ChatGPT to streamline patient communication.

For example, ChatGPT could be used to build an automated screening portal for patients to use before coming into the office for an appointment. 

Additionally, ChatGPT can also act as a translator, allowing patients to get care across language barriers.

Even if a patient does speak some English, ChatGPT can give them more clarity by translating a doctor’s speech into the patient’s first language.

The same applies to other languages, as well. 

Administrative Task Automation

Administrative tasks are among the best suited for automation with ChatGPT.

The algorithm’s natural language processing capabilities make it highly effective for tasks like writing emails or letters, compiling reports, or creating summaries. 

For example, accreditation is a vital part of providing high-quality care for patients. However, it does require medical professionals to keep up with documentation on procedures and medical practices.

This information ensures healthcare organizations can conduct regular accreditation compliance reviews to verify that care processes meet regulations. 

ChatGPT can help medical professionals organize and compile all of this information, making a lengthy bookkeeping task more efficient.

This allows care providers to meet important accreditation requirements while giving more time to their patients.

Similarly, ChatGPT could also be used to write letters to insurance providers, summarize lengthy medical records, or even simplify medical info and definitions for patients. 

Brainstorming Assistance

Brainstorming and idea generation are among the most popular uses for ChatGPT. Generative AI is highly effective at making connections between various data points that humans may not have recognized.

This can be helpful in healthcare when it comes to diagnosing conditions and developing treatment plans. 

Human medical professionals should always make the final call on care recommendations. However, ChatGPT may be able to help doctors consider potential diagnoses they may not have otherwise thought of.

For instance, a patient’s symptoms might mostly look like one condition, but an outlier symptom could point to a less obvious connection to a different condition. 

Study Aid for Medical Students

It’s no secret that medical degrees are challenging for students. ChatGPT can make studying for medical coursework a little easier, acting as an AI study partner.

For example, students can have ChatGPT convert their lesson notes into flashcards for review.

Similarly, they can ask ChatGPT to summarize complex medical concepts to streamline their learning process. 

ChatGPT can even create practice questions for students to use to review for exams.

This last feature is especially versatile since it gives students the ability to create their own custom practice test for the exact information they are learning.

This goes a step beyond most study tools available online today. 

The Negative Impact of ChatGPT in Healthcare

Unfortunately, the impact of ChatGPT in healthcare is not entirely positive. There are some important drawbacks and risks that users, patients, and healthcare providers need to consider. 

Spreading Inaccurate Medical Info

One important limitation that has surfaced is ChatGPT’s ability to give users accurate information. It is great at giving information in a way that appears informative at first glance but actually contains factual inaccuracies and nonsensical details. 

This may be humorous for harmless everyday questions, but it is a serious issue when users are asking ChatGPT for medical advice.

Even if the AI gives accurate information 70% of the time, the other 30% when it is wrong could endanger someone’s life or well-being. 

The surface-level appearance of accuracy makes ChatGPT all the more risky since it can be difficult for patients to tell when the algorithm is giving them false or misleading information.

Studies have found that ChatGPT-4 is more likely to give inaccurate info than ChatGPT-3.5 was, particularly in terms of spreading misinformation.

Unnervingly, ChatGPT-4 is more effective at disguising inaccurate information as authoritative. 

Additionally, ChatGPT is known to occasionally make up nonexistent references and medical studies when answering healthcare questions.

This is an important concern for doctors and patients alike since the inclusion of “references” adds to the appearance of authoritative information that is actually false. 

ChatGPT is fine for answering basic questions, but doctors and patients alike should always remember to verify the AI’s info with trusted authoritative medical resources.

It’s crucial for patients to remember that ChatGPT may be impressive, but it is no replacement for real medical professionals. 

Data Bias and Ethical Concerns

ChatGPT is a black-box AI, which means it is susceptible to an unfortunately common issue with AI: data bias.

Also known as logic bias, data bias occurs when an AI unintentionally absorbs human biases and opinions.

This can cause the AI to discriminate against people based on traits like race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. 

Data bias has been found in everything from Amazon’s infamous hiring AI to law enforcement image recognition AIs.

Since the logic behind black box AIs’ decisions is not visible to users or developers, the AI could be sharing info or decisions that are not truly objective.

This is a serious issue in healthcare since it could influence the quality of care a patient receives. 

The Impact of ChatGPT in Healthcare

There’s no doubt that ChatGPT is an impressive and helpful tool, but its impact on healthcare is both positive and negative. When applied to certain tasks, like communication and writing, ChatGPT is an effective tool for improving healthcare.

However, patients and care providers alike should always verify the information they get from ChatGPT and remember that this AI is not a replacement for a real medical professional.