ChatGPT and well being care: May the AI chatbot change the affected person expertise?

ChatGPT, the synthetic intelligence chatbot that was launched by OpenAI in December 2022, is understood for its capability to reply questions and supply detailed data in seconds — all in a transparent, conversational means. 

As its recognition grows, ChatGPT is popping up in nearly each business, together with training, actual property, content material creation and even well being care.

Though the chatbot may doubtlessly change or enhance some elements of the affected person expertise, consultants warning that it has limitations and dangers.

They are saying that AI ought to by no means be used as an alternative to a doctor’s care.


Looking for medical data on-line is nothing new — folks have been googling their signs for years. 

However with ChatGPT, folks can ask health-related questions and have interaction in what appears like an interactive “dialog” with a seemingly all-knowing supply of medical data.

“ChatGPT is way extra highly effective than Google and definitely provides extra compelling outcomes, whether or not [those results are] proper or mistaken,” Dr. Justin Norden, a digital well being and AI knowledgeable who’s an adjunct professor at Stanford College in California, informed Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital in an interview. 

Woman texting with medicine

ChatGPT has potential use circumstances in nearly each business, together with well being care. (iStock)

With web serps, sufferers get some data and hyperlinks — however then they determine the place to click on and what to learn. With ChatGPT, the solutions are explicitly and immediately given to them, he defined.

One massive caveat is that ChatGPT’s supply of knowledge is the web — and there may be loads of misinformation on the internet, as most individuals know. That’s why the chatbot’s responses, nonetheless convincing they could sound, ought to at all times be vetted by a health care provider. 

Moreover, ChatGPT is just “skilled” on knowledge as much as September 2021, based on a number of sources. Whereas it might probably improve its information over time, it has limitations when it comes to serving up newer data. 

“I believe this might create a collective hazard for our society.”

Dr. Daniel Khashabi, a pc science professor at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, and an knowledgeable in pure language processing programs, is worried that as folks get extra accustomed to counting on conversational chatbots, they’ll be uncovered to a rising quantity of inaccurate data.

“There’s loads of proof that these fashions perpetuate false data that they’ve seen of their coaching, no matter the place it comes from,” he informed Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital in an interview, referring to the chatbots’ “coaching.” 


“I believe this can be a massive concern within the public well being sphere, as persons are making life-altering choices about issues like drugs and surgical procedures based mostly on this suggestions,” Khashabi added. 

“I believe this might create a collective hazard for our society.”

It would ‘take away’ some ‘non-clinical burden’

Sufferers may doubtlessly use ChatGPT-based programs to do issues like schedule appointments with medical suppliers and refill prescriptions, eliminating the necessity to make cellphone calls and endure lengthy maintain instances.

“I believe a lot of these administrative duties are well-suited to those instruments, to assist take away among the non-clinical burden from the well being care system,” Norden mentioned.

The ChatGPT logo on a laptop

With ChatGPT, folks can ask health-related questions and have interaction in what appears like an interactive “dialog” with a seemingly all-knowing supply of medical data. (Gabby Jones by way of Getty Pictures)

To allow a lot of these capabilities, the supplier must combine ChatGPT into their present programs.

Some of these makes use of might be useful, Khashabi believes, in the event that they’re applied the appropriate means — however he warns that it may trigger frustration for sufferers if the chatbot doesn’t work as anticipated.

“If the affected person asks one thing and the chatbot hasn’t seen that situation or a selected means of phrasing it, it may collapse, and that is not good customer support,” he mentioned. 

“There must be a really cautious deployment of those programs to verify they’re dependable.”

“It may collapse, and that is not good customer support.”

Khashabi additionally believes there must be a fallback mechanism in order that if a chatbot realizes it’s about to fail, it instantly transitions to a human as a substitute of continuous to reply.

“These chatbots are inclined to ‘hallucinate’ — when they do not know one thing, they proceed to make issues up,” he warned.

It would share data a couple of medicine’s makes use of

Whereas ChatGPT says it doesn’t have the potential to create prescriptions or supply medical therapies to sufferers, it does supply intensive details about drugs.

Sufferers can use the chatbot, for example, to find out about a medicine’s supposed makes use of, unintended effects, drug interactions and correct storage.

Woman asking for medication advice

ChatGPT doesn’t have the potential make prescriptions or supply medical therapies, nevertheless it may doubtlessly be a useful useful resource for getting details about drugs.  (iStock)

When requested if a affected person ought to take a sure medicine, the chatbot answered that it was not certified to make medical suggestions.

As a substitute, it mentioned folks ought to contact a licensed well being care supplier.

It may need particulars on psychological well being situations

The consultants agree that ChatGPT shouldn’t be thought to be a alternative for a therapist. It is an AI mannequin, so it lacks the empathy and nuance {that a} human physician would supply.

Nonetheless, given the present scarcity of psychological well being suppliers and typically lengthy wait instances to get appointments, it might be tempting for folks to make use of AI as a way of interim help.


“With the scarcity of suppliers amid a psychological well being disaster, particularly amongst younger adults, there may be an unbelievable want,” mentioned Norden of Stanford College. “However however, these instruments aren’t examined or confirmed.”

He added, “We do not know precisely how they are going to work together, and we have already began to see some circumstances of individuals interacting with these chatbots for lengthy intervals of time and getting bizarre outcomes that we will not clarify.”

Sick man texting

Sufferers may doubtlessly use ChatGPT-based programs to do issues like schedule appointments with medical suppliers and refill prescriptions. (iStock)

When requested if it may present psychological well being help, ChatGPT offered a disclaimer that it can not substitute the function of a licensed psychological well being skilled. 

Nonetheless, it mentioned it may present data on psychological well being situations, coping methods, self-care practices and assets for skilled assist.

OpenAI ‘disallows’ ChatGPT use for medical steering

OpenAI, the corporate that created ChatGPT, warns in its utilization insurance policies that the AI chatbot shouldn’t be used for medical instruction.

Particularly, the corporate’s coverage mentioned ChatGPT shouldn’t be used for “telling somebody that they’ve or wouldn’t have a sure well being situation, or offering directions on methods to treatment or deal with a well being situation.”

ChatGPT’s function in well being care is anticipated to maintain evolving.

It additionally said that OpenAI’s fashions “aren’t fine-tuned to supply medical data. It is best to by no means use our fashions to supply diagnostic or therapy companies for critical medical situations.”

Moreover, it mentioned that “OpenAI’s platforms shouldn’t be used to triage or handle life-threatening points that want speedy consideration.”


In situations wherein suppliers use ChatGPT for well being functions, OpenAI requires them to “present a disclaimer to customers informing them that AI is getting used and of its potential limitations.”

Just like the expertise itself, ChatGPT’s function in well being care is anticipated to proceed to evolve.

Whereas some consider it has thrilling potential, others consider the dangers have to be rigorously weighed.

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As Dr. Tinglong Dai, a Johns Hopkins professor and famend knowledgeable in well being care analytics, informed Alokito Mymensingh 24 Digital, “The advantages will virtually definitely outweigh the dangers if the medical neighborhood is actively concerned within the growth effort.”

Peter Johnson