ChatGPT and health care: Could the AI chatbot change the patient experience?

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

As its reputation grows, ChatGPT is popping up in nearly each trade, together with schooling, actual property, content material creation and even health care.

Although the chatbot may probably change or enhance some features of the patient expertise, specialists warning that it has limitations and dangers.

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


Searching for medical info on-line is nothing new — individuals have been googling their signs for years. 

But with ChatGPT, individuals can ask health-related questions and have interaction in what appears like an interactive “conversation” with a seemingly all-knowing supply of medical info.

“ChatGPT is far more powerful than Google and certainly gives more compelling results, whether [those results are] right or wrong,” Dr. Justin Norden, a digital health and AI skilled who’s an adjunct professor at Stanford University in California, informed Fox News Digital in an interview. 

ChatGPT has potential use instances in nearly each trade, together with health care. (iStock)

With web engines like google, sufferers get some info and hyperlinks — however then they determine the place to click on and what to learn. With ChatGPT, the solutions are explicitly and straight given to them, he defined.

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

Additionally, ChatGPT is just “trained” on knowledge as much as September 2021, in keeping with a number of sources. While it might probably improve its data over time, it has limitations when it comes to serving up newer info. 

“I think this could create a collective danger for our society.”

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

“There’s plenty of evidence that these models perpetuate false information that they have seen in their training, regardless of where it comes from,” he informed Fox News Digital in an interview, referring to the chatbots’ “training.” 


“I think this is a big concern in the public health sphere, as people are making life-altering decisions about things like medications and surgical procedures based on this feedback,” Khashabi added. 

“I think this could create a collective danger for our society.”

It would possibly ‘remove’ some ‘non-clinical burden’

Patients may probably use ChatGPT-based techniques to do issues like schedule appointments with medical suppliers and refill prescriptions, eliminating the must make cellphone calls and endure lengthy maintain occasions.

“I think these types of administrative tasks are well-suited to these tools, to help remove some of the non-clinical burden from the health care system,” Norden mentioned.

The ChatGPT logo on a laptop

With ChatGPT, individuals can ask health-related questions and have interaction in what appears like an interactive “conversation” with a seemingly all-knowing supply of medical info. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg through Getty Images)

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

These varieties of makes use of could possibly be useful, Khashabi believes, in the event that they’re carried out the proper means — however he warns that it may trigger frustration for sufferers if the chatbot doesn’t work as anticipated.

“If the patient asks something and the chatbot hasn’t seen that condition or a particular way of phrasing it, it could fall apart, and that’s not good customer service,” he mentioned. 

“There should be a very careful deployment of these systems to make sure they’re reliable.”

“It could fall apart, and that’s not good customer service.”

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

“These chatbots tend to ‘hallucinate’ — when they don’t know something, they continue to make things up,” he warned.

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

While ChatGPT says it doesn’t have the functionality to create prescriptions or provide medical therapies to sufferers, it does provide in depth details about drugs.

Patients can use the chatbot, as an example, to find out about a drugs’s meant makes use of, unintended effects, drug interactions and correct storage.

Woman asking for medication advice

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

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

Instead, it mentioned individuals ought to contact a licensed health care supplier.

It may need particulars on psychological health circumstances

The specialists agree that ChatGPT shouldn’t be thought to be a substitute for a therapist. It’s an AI mannequin, so it lacks the empathy and nuance {that a} human physician would offer.

However, given the present scarcity of psychological health suppliers and generally lengthy wait occasions to get appointments, it might be tempting for individuals to make use of AI as a way of interim assist.


“With the shortage of providers amid a mental health crisis, especially among young adults, there is an incredible need,” mentioned Norden of Stanford University. “But on the other hand, these tools are not tested or proven.”

He added, “We don’t know exactly how they’re going to interact, and we’ve already started to see some cases of people interacting with these chatbots for long periods of time and getting weird results that we can’t explain.”

Sick man texting

Patients may probably use ChatGPT-based techniques to do issues like schedule appointments with medical suppliers and refill prescriptions. (iStock)

When requested if it may present psychological health assist, ChatGPT supplied a disclaimer that it can not change the position of a licensed psychological health skilled. 

However, it mentioned it may present info on psychological health circumstances, coping methods, self-care practices and sources for skilled assist.

OpenAI ‘disallows’ ChatGPT use for medical steering

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

Specifically, the firm’s coverage mentioned ChatGPT shouldn’t be used for “telling someone that they have or do not have a certain health condition, or providing instructions on how to cure or treat a health condition.”

ChatGPT’s position in health care is predicted to maintain evolving.

It additionally acknowledged that OpenAI’s fashions “are not fine-tuned to provide medical information. You should never use our models to provide diagnostic or treatment services for serious medical conditions.”

Additionally, it mentioned that “OpenAI’s platforms should not be used to triage or manage life-threatening issues that need immediate attention.”


In situations by which suppliers use ChatGPT for health functions, OpenAI requires them to “provide a disclaimer to users informing them that AI is being used and of its potential limitations.”

Like the know-how itself, ChatGPT’s position in health care is predicted to proceed to evolve.

While some consider it has thrilling potential, others consider the dangers have to be fastidiously weighed.


As Dr. Tinglong Dai, a Johns Hopkins professor and famend skilled in health care analytics, informed Fox News Digital, “The benefits will almost certainly outweigh the risks if the medical community is actively involved in the development effort.”

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