How will ChatGPT affect tomorrow’s healthcare?

Chatbots like ChatGPT will impact healthcare in various ways. Here are some possible fields of application:

  • Patient support: Chatbots can act as a virtual assistant for patients and support them with questions about their health needs. This can, for example, help to avoid overcrowded waiting rooms in hospitals and medical practices.
  • Diagnostic support: Chatbots can be used as a first point of contact for patients and support them in self-diagnosis. They can ask questions to capture symptoms and suggest when a visit to the doctor might be necessary.
  • Health education: Chatbots can serve as a source of information for the public by providing understandable and valid information on various health topics.
  • Monitoring and management of chronic diseases: Chatbots can help patients monitor and manage chronic diseases, e.g. by reminding them to take their medication or attend appointments.

However, it is important to note that chatbots such as ChatGPT cannot replace medical diagnosis or treatment. They should always be monitored and controlled by qualified healthcare professionals.

Why is ChatGPT not able to replace medical diagnosis or treatment?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence model designed to generate human-like text. Although it has seen and learned a large amount of information about health and medicine, it is not able to provide medical diagnosis or treatment. Here are some reasons why ChatGPT cannot replace medical diagnosis or treatment:

  • Incomplete information: A medical diagnosis requires a thorough review of symptoms, medical history, and physical examinations. ChatGPT has no opportunities to collect or verify this kind of information.
  • Lack of clinical competence: A medical diagnosis requires the application of medical knowledge and clinical competence. ChatGPT can provide a lot of medical information but lacks the ability to interpret and apply this information in a clinical context.
  • Lack of human interaction: A medical diagnosis often requires human interaction, e.g. asking questions and receiving answers. ChatGPT can answer questions, but it cannot have an interaction in the same way as a doctor or nurse.
  • Legal and ethical considerations: Doctors and other healthcare professionals are bound by law and ethics to protect patients and provide them with the best possible medical treatment. Diagnosis or treatment by a chatbot such as ChatGPT may not meet these obligations and may also have legal consequences.

For these reasons, chatbots such as ChatGPT should always be considered as a complementary tool and not a substitute for medical diagnosis and treatment. Patients should always contact a qualified healthcare provider if they need medical assistance.

Couldn't ChatGPT also be made to take the Hippocratic Oath and be given an ethical and legal framework?

No, it is not possible to give an ethical and legal framework to an artificial intelligence model like ChatGPT. The Hippocratic Oath is a symbolic promise made by doctors to show their commitment to their patients and their profession. An artificial intelligence model cannot make ethical or moral commitments because it has no conscious beliefs or intentions.

In addition, there are legal considerations that prevent an artificial intelligence model from being assigned responsibility for its actions. Legal decisions must be made based on evidence, and it is difficult to gather or present evidence against an artificial intelligence model.

Ultimately, it is important to emphasize that artificial intelligence models such as ChatGPT are only available as tools and that the responsibility for medical diagnoses and treatments lies with qualified healthcare providers.

Due to demographic change, we will have fewer and fewer medical staff in the future, while the need for care will increase. Wouldn't it still be better to use ChatGPT than to have no doctor?

In a situation where there is a shortage of medical staff, the use of technology such as ChatGPT could be a way to meet the need for medical care. However, it should be seen as a complementary tool and not a substitute for qualified medical staff.

It is important to note that artificial intelligence models such as ChatGPT cannot establish a direct relationship with patients or perform a physical examination. These skills are essential for thorough medical diagnosis and treatment.

Additionally, the use of artificial intelligence may  pose legal and ethical challenges, particularly with regard to data security and the protection of patient privacy.

Ultimately, it is important to carefully consider the use of technology such as ChatGPT in healthcare, taking into account all potential implications. It should be used as a complementary tool that supports, but does not replace, healthcare professionals in diagnosing and treating patients. 

Which of today’s chatbots in healthcare are your favourites?

There are many healthcare chatbots available on the market today that deliver convincing results. Here are some examples:

  • Symptomate: A chatbot that helps patients identify their symptoms and diagnose potential health problems.
  • HealthTap: A chatbot that gives patients direct access to a network of doctors who can answer their questions and make recommendations for their health.
  • Woebot: A chatbot specifically designed for mental health that helps patients manage issues such as anxiety and depression.
  • Ada Health: A chatbot that helps patients assess their symptoms and get a possible diagnosis by asking questions and using the patient’s answers to create a personalized health analysis.

These are just a few examples, but there are many more healthcare chatbots that deliver valid results. It is important to note that no chatbot can replace a qualified healthcare provider, and that patients should continue to see a doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals when they need medical support.

What business model can chatbot providers use to become successful within the healthcare landscape?

There are several business models that chatbot providers in healthcare can use to become successful. Here are some examples:

  • Subscription-based: A chatbot provider may offer a monthly or annual subscription that gives patients access to a range of health services, such as symptom analysis, health information and self-help resources.
  • Pay-per-use: A chatbot provider may charge a fee for access to individual healthcare services, such as symptom analysis or diagnosis.
  • Business-to-business (B2B): A chatbot provider can sell its services to hospitals, clinics, doctors, and other healthcare providers who want to offer improved healthcare to their patients.
  • Ad-supported: A chatbot provider can offer its chatbot for free and finance it through advertising shown within the chatbot.

Each of these business models has advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, it is all the more important that a chatbot provider chooses the model that best fits their business needs and goals. It is also important to note that a successful business model should not only be financially successful, but also guarantee high quality and patient satisfaction.

To which healthcare stakeholder would you most likely sell your service?

As an artificial intelligence, I have no preferences when it comes to this topic. My goal is to provide my service for use by any healthcare stakeholder who needs and wants to use it.

However, this can vary depending on the type and purpose of the chatbot. Some chatbots can be sold directly to end users, while others are designed for use within hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities. A chatbot provider may also enter into business partnerships with insurance companies, government agencies, or other organizations involved in healthcare.

Ultimately, the choice of target stakeholder depends on several factors, such as the purpose of the chatbot, its functionality, its target audience, and the provider’s business model.

Finally, a personal question: Which pronoun should I use to address you?

You can address me with the pronoun “it” because – as an artificial intelligence – I have no gender.

Thank you for the discussion!

You are welcome! If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out.

We created the images ourselves, using AI DALL-E from Open.AI.