Thanks to artificial intelligence, there have been notable improvements in healthcare during the past few years. Release of ChatGPT in November 2022, which totally changed how AI technologies are integrated into our daily lives, including the healthcare industry, was one key milestone. This article examines some of ChatGPT’s benefits and drawbacks for physicians.
The shown potential of ChatGPT to advance AI-assisted medical education is one noteworthy advantage. It exceeded 60% in some assessments and attained an accuracy rate of close to 50% on different US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) tests. With this performance, the model approaches the passing range and establishes a new standard for AI models.
Another valuable use case is ChatGPT’s ability to generate formal research articles with eloquent vocabulary and a pleasant tone. It proves highly efficient in summarizing texts and documents, saving valuable time for medical professionals by extracting relevant information from the document, such as symptoms, treatments, lab results, or imaging reports.
ChatGPT supports more than 50 languages, and by leveraging its multilingual capabilities, it enables efficient and accurate translation of research articles across different languages, facilitating global collaboration and knowledge sharing.
ChatGPT streamlines the recordkeeping process by generating automated patient summaries and medical histories. Healthcare practitioners can dictate their notes, allowing the model to extract key details such as symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, and relevant information from patient records.
In a recent study, ChatGPT showcased its reliability as a conversational agent for gathering information from patients with various diseases. Participants found it easy to use (94%) and perceived it as valuable support for patient empowerment (88%).
According to a previous study, there is a global need for approximately 6.4 million physicians to achieve Universal Health Coverage goals. To address this issue, AI models like ChatGPT can serve as virtual assistants for telemedicine, especially in areas with a shortage of doctors. ChatGPT can potentially provide remote guidance and support to patients. However, it is important to note that the model may produce inaccurate results, which could be harmful in certain cases. As a result, it is critical to monitor the performance of such virtual assistants closely.
AI model powered by GPT-4 can generate health and medical data summaries in just 4 minutes, significantly outperforming the time taken by human doctors (16 minutes). Carbon Health reports an impressive 88% acceptability rate for the model’s generated medical records without requiring any editing. Already implemented in over 130 clinics, this AI model has positively impacted more than 600 medical staff, with one clinic reporting a 30% increase in patients treated within the same time frame.
One of the biggest drawbacks of ChatGPT is that it performs poorly regarding context or nuance, which are extremely important for safe and effective healthcare. Since the performance of the model relies on the data it was trained on, any bias in the dataset will lead to the model’s unfair recommendations for underrepresented patients.
Moreover, depending on the quality and nature of the training dataset, the output of the model could be incorrect when it comes to medical writing, leading to potential legal issues, such as lawsuits. Additionally, the model is trained on data up to 2021 only and thus is unaware of the recent advancements in healthcare.
Models like ChatGPT also raise concerns about privacy concerns in healthcare. There is a risk of data breaches and unauthorized access to sensitive medical information. Another drawback is that ChatGPT can also be used for phishing attacks. Hackers can impersonate medical practitioners or even access patients’ records.
In summary, while ChatGPT offers significant benefits such as advancing medical education, generating research articles, and streamlining recordkeeping, it also has limitations, including a lack of context and nuance, potential bias, privacy concerns, and the risk of incorrect medical information. Therefore, carefully considering these drawbacks and ethical concerns is necessary before implementing ChatGPT or similar AI models in healthcare, ensuring a balance between efficiency, patient safety, and privacy.