Wouldn’t you care to know that patient of yours who is likely to come down with a life-threatening case of ACE-Inhibitor induced angioedema? My guess is that you would, especially knowing that in health care delivery, prevention is king.
Better still, what if I tell you that with an AI-powered image analysis, you no longer have to spend agonizing hours waiting for a NightHawk CT scan report? It gets even more interesting upon the realization that these new supernatural abilities are conferred by a little new app that could easily be installed on your desktop or smart mobile device.
The latest technology that took the world by storm is the chatbot known as ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI and launched in June 2020. For starters, a chatbot is an artificial intelligence tool that is designed to simulate human conversation through voice or text interactions. This AI program can answer questions, write poems, give ideas on what to say to a potential business prospect. Heck, it even passed the USMLE exam. The disruptive potential of AI-inspired chatbot rivals that of the world wide web. Both Google and Microsoft have since come out with their own models called BERT and BINGE, respectively.
From triaging patients to helping with post-operative care, chatbots, in particular, have become a valuable tool for health care providers. One of their significant benefits is the ability to reduce the workload of health care professionals. Also, by handling routine tasks such as appointment scheduling, prescription refills, and answering general health questions, health care professionals can then focus on solving more complex problems. This not only improves patient care but also reduces burnout among health care providers.
Another advantage of chatbots is their ability to improve patient engagement and education. Patients can access medical information at any time of the day, ask questions, and receive prompt and accurate responses. This not only helps patients to better understand their condition but also encourages them to take an active role in managing their health.
Aside from chatbots, image analysis software, clinical decision support systems, robot-assisted surgery, and personalized medicine are just a few of the other cool new tools powered by artificial intelligence that are revolutionizing health care at a break-neck speed.
Obviously, the benefits of AI tools in health care are enormous, but there are also some potential drawbacks to consider, including privacy and security concerns, the risk of bias in AI algorithms. AI systems are only as good as the data they are trained on, and if the data is biased, the system will be biased too.
As AI tools are set to have a lasting impact on how care is delivered, it’s also crucial that health care organizations develop a clear strategy that focuses on integrating these tools into existing workflows. This strategy should prioritize privacy and security, diversity, and representation of data.
Finally, governments and health care organizations should recognize that AI tools are complimentary but not a substitute for human interaction and empathy. Health care providers should continue to prioritize the human aspect of health care and ensure that patients have access to them for the aspects of care that require human interaction.
Osmund Agbo is a pulmonary physician.