Have you ever believed that when you enter the medical cabinet, the doctor will be a piece of software that will diagnose and treat you? Well, if not, then consider the following.
ChatGPT, the large language model developed by OpenAI that hit the Internet by storm, performed at or near the passing threshold for the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE).
Does it sound more legit now?
All jokes aside, you might not see ChatGPT evaluate your medical condition in the near future, but artificial intelligence proved to have the potential to unleash capabilities in the healthcare industry.
From clinical decision support to involvement in innovative digital health solutions, ChatGPT might have various applications in different healthcare settings. But before exploring its numerous capabilities, let’s first observe the technology this large language model runs on.
ChatGPT is powered by a technology called a transformer-based neural network. This AI model is built on top of the transformer architecture and is trained on a large dataset of text, allowing it to generate human-like text.
The key innovation of the transformer architecture is the self-attention mechanism, which enables the model to weigh the importance of different words in a sentence when making predictions. It uses machine learning techniques, such as deep learning and unsupervised learning, to learn patterns in the data and produce text similar to the user input.
These vital details are the critical factors distinguishing ChatGPT from other competitors in the market. This is also why this AI model may find application in regulated and conservative industries like healthcare. Now, let’s jump into what ChatGPT may bring to the table in the future, so you gain knowledge that will benefit your healthcare practice.
ChatGPT – the virtual assistant that automates practice workflows
ChatGPT can serve as a virtual assistant in a healthcare practice by providing automated responses to frequently asked questions, scheduling appointments, and providing information on treatment options.
Appointment scheduling and reminders
ChatGPT can be integrated into a healthcare practice’s scheduling system to understand and respond to a patient’s request for appointments. It may also send automatic reminders to patients about their upcoming doctor visits. Additionally, it can assist with rescheduling or canceling appointments as needed and provide relevant information to the patient.
Patient onboarding and engagement
The large language model can be used for creating conversational chatbots that can assist patients with their onboarding process and engage with them throughout their care journey. The chatbot can guide patients through registration, answer questions, and provide personalized information and resources. This can help to streamline the patient onboarding process and improve overall engagement and satisfaction.
ChatGPT may automate claim authorization and management using natural language processing and machine learning algorithms to understand and interpret patient information, insurance information, and medical codes. It could then use this information to determine coverage and automatically submit claims to an insurance company.
However, it would require specific programming and integration within the healthcare practice’s existing systems. Additionally, it would require regular updates and maintenance to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and standards.
The “bureaucracy-killer” solution: ChatGPT and EHR system
If there is one industry that can depict the importance of data management, this would be healthcare. A big part of health and administrative information is unstructured in the form of notes, images, and paper charts.
And here comes the importance of electronic health records that store all patient-related data digitally. By means of EHR systems, healthcare providers can improve patient outcomes and care delivery.
Do you know what we call an “EHR system on steroids”?
Of course, the one powered by ChatGPT!
There is no doubt it is a bureaucracy killer because such software can automate all processes related to data management in a medical facility:
- Data entry into the EHR system. For example, ChatGPT can be trained to transcribe voice notes from a doctor’s visit and enter the information into the patient’s digital record.
- Generation of documents, such as discharge summaries and referral letters. This feature can help to improve the efficiency and accuracy of medical communication.
- Searching and retrieving information from the EHR system. For example, the AI model can search for specific patient information or generate a list of patients who meet certain criteria.
- Identifying care gaps, such as missing lab results or incomplete medical history, and generating alerts for healthcare providers to address them.
What does it take to implement ChatGPT in your practice?
Implementing ChatGPT in a healthcare practice would require integrating the model into the practice’s existing technology infrastructure. This process would likely involve integrating the model into the practice’s electronic health record (EHR) system, practice management system, billing software, and clinical software systems that the medical facility uses.
Additionally, the practice would need to develop or acquire any necessary integrations or connectors to allow the model to access relevant data from patient records, such as demographic information, medical history, and lab results.
In order to achieve automation, the practice would need to develop custom logic or workflow rules that would trigger the model to provide specific responses or take specific actions based on the input it receives.
This could include, for example, using the model to triage patient inquiries, provide automated responses to common questions, or generate treatment recommendations based on a patient’s medical history.
Finally, the practice would need to train the AI model on relevant data, such as medical terminologies and patient interactions, to ensure it can understand and respond to specific needs.
Implementing AI models such as ChatGPT in doctor’s work
Artificial intelligence has numerous potential use cases in the doctor’s practice, as the most notable ones include.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that about 5.8 million Americans had Alzheimer’s in 2020. (3) And most patients get diagnosed when the degenerative process starts to deteriorate the overall condition.
Early detection of this disease allows individuals to manage their symptoms and get support from friends and family earlier, thus improving their quality of life. (4)
Thankfully, AI models, including the technology driving ChatGPT, have the potential to assist in the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease.
Machine learning algorithms may analyze various data sources, such as MRI images of the brain, lab results, and cognitive assessments, to identify patterns that may indicate the presence of the disease in its early stages. This way, the innovative technology might identify changes in brain structure associated with the disease.
Additionally, ChatGPT may be used to analyze language patterns in speech and writing, which may change in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Detecting changes in word choice, grammar, and sentence structure may indicate the presence of a degenerative disease.
Chronic disease management
Chronic illnesses are a major problem progressively deteriorating public health in recent years. As a result, healthcare experts are now pursuing innovative approaches to address these issues.
Emerging technologies such as AI and IoT ensure that public health is in the right hands by providing functionalities that make chronic disease management (even for rare diseases such as systemic sclerosis) not so challenging task.
Like for example:
- ChatGPT may create personalized treatment plans and recommendations based on a patient’s medical history and current symptoms, thus enhancing outcomes.
- AI models can monitor and track a patient’s symptoms over time, alerting healthcare professionals to any changes that may indicate a worsening of their condition. Furthermore, it can analyze medical data to identify patterns indicating an impending flare-up of a patient’s condition, allowing healthcare professionals to intervene early and prevent complications.
- Large language models can provide patients with easy-to-understand information about their condition and treatment options.
ChatGPT enhancing medical communication
Every healthcare practice is expected to function seamlessly in order to deliver the best care service possible, but the reality isn’t like this. Communication between medical workers is inadequate in most practices. Although healthcare providers implement EHR systems, separate hospital departments usually need data from more sources to evaluate medical conditions.
And here comes the role of artificial intelligence. ChatGPT can generate reports from unstructured data sources (databases) across the medical facility. It can even create summaries of complex medical information, making it easier for healthcare providers to stay up-to-date on the latest findings.
Not to mention that ChatGPT can be used to translate medical information into foreign languages, making it more accessible to patients and healthcare providers who speak different languages.
Triaging patient treatment
Overcrowded emergency departments, limited resources, and the need for fast and accurate responses are just some of the challenges medical workers face when triaging patients. With the help of AI, which can analyze various data sources (patient symptoms and medical history), healthcare providers can identify patterns to offer the appropriate level of care for a patient. (5)
For example, an AI model may evaluate the patient’s vital signs and help professionals determine whether the individual should enter an emergency room or primary care. This technology can assist in identifying patients who are at high risk of certain conditions, such as sepsis, and alert the clinician to take appropriate action.
In particular, ChatGPT can be integrated into a symptom checker tool to identify symptoms and provide guidance on the appropriate level of care. The large language model can also power virtual assistants to triage patients by answering questions and providing guidance on the level of care.
ChatGPT powering clinical decision software
Ten years of studying in medical school to become a doctor are not enough to decipher all the diseases and medical conditions the 21st-century patient may suffer. Physicians have to evaluate symptoms that can match 5+ different medical conditions.
Even if you consider diagnosis and treatment a norm in a doctor’s job, this does not mean medical professionals should not use technology to excel. And here comes the critical role of AI-based clinical decision support systems that can analyze large volumes of data to suggest a diagnosis, and next steps for treatments, indicate potential problems, and facilitate workflows.
For example, computer vision algorithms may identify signs of a specific disease from medical images, such as x-rays or MRIs. Furthermore, this software can leverage the data gathered from EHR to help professionals perform better decision-making. (6)
The system might be integrated with a chatbot that can interact with healthcare professionals through text or voice to answer questions and provide information. With the power of predictive models, clinical decision software may help healthcare professionals to identify patients at high risk of specific conditions.
Furthermore, ChatGPT can provide explainable reasoning behind its predictions, which can help medical professionals understand the model’s decision-making process and identify potential errors or areas for improvement.
It’s important to note that integrating ChatGPT into a clinical decision support system would require technical expertise and should be done in a way that respects patient privacy and is compliant with regulations.
ChatGPT and any AI model used in healthcare should be validated to ensure accurate and reliable performance in diagnosis and other medical procedures, as the final word always belongs to the certified expert.
ChatGPT can save time for healthcare professionals to focus on vital tasks apart from writing, reading, commenting, or explaining information. However, it’s crucial to consider being aware of the limitations of the technology and become interested in how you can utilize its current capabilities in the best way.
Potential of ChatGPT and AI in clinical research
As you may know, medical research requires much time, resources, and patience. One of the major problems scientists face is the insufficient data they have to conduct research.
In cases when data is sufficient, the issues stem from the fact that the gathered information is hard to analyze and produce the desired results. Thankfully, ChatGPT, with its “ability to work against all odds”, plays a key role in a clinical research setting.
While AI models are still capable of analyzing with precision, they have several use cases:
- ChatGPT can be trained to extract relevant information from unstructured text data, such as electronic medical records (EMRs) or scientific literature (research papers), to support data collection and analysis in clinical research.
- It can generate human-like text summaries of clinical research papers, articles, reports, and other publications, making it easier for researchers to stay up-to-date on the latest findings in their field.
- The AI model may provide clinical decision support to healthcare providers by using natural language input to generate treatment recommendations based on a patient’s medical history.
ChatGPT may be integrated into a conversational bot to provide automated responses to patient inquiries and to assist with matching patients to clinical trials based on their medical history, symptoms, and other factors.
The AI model may answer common questions about clinical trials, provide information on which might be a good fit for the patient, and assist with scheduling appointments or providing contact information for further follow-up.
It could also help to increase patient enrollment by providing more efficient and convenient ways for individuals to learn about and participate in clinical trials.
However, it is crucial to note that while ChatGPT can be a powerful tool for clinical trial patient recruitment, its implementation requires information provided to be accurate, compliant with regulations, and respects patient privacy.
How AI improves population health management?
Population health problems, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity, are the 21st-century burden of the physical and financial state of the regular person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, the total spending on chronic diseases was estimated to be over $1 trillion, a significant portion of the country’s overall healthcare spending.
Thankfully, AI models might become the single most prolific solution to these population health problems:
- Predictive modeling. AI models can analyze large amounts of data to identify patterns and predict future health outcomes. This can help healthcare providers and public health officials identify populations at risk for specific health conditions, target interventions, and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
- Personalized medicine. Artificial intelligence might analyze patient data to develop personalized treatment plans, which may improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
- Public health surveillance. Similarly, ChatGPT might be used for tracking disease outbreaks and identifying risk factors. Thus, medical providers will act fast in emergencies that threaten public health.
- Pinpointing care gaps. AI can be used to identify care gaps, such as underserved populations or areas with a shortage of healthcare providers.
ChatGPT in digital health
ChatGPT in remote patient monitoring
The application of AI in digital health improves the quality of healthcare services and increases efficiency. AI models can support digital health by providing various capabilities in remote patient monitoring, telemedicine, and others. But before hopping into details, we should explain in a few words these innovative treatment approaches.
Remote patient monitoring is a digital health practice that refers to the technology that remotely collects and transmits data from patients’ homes to healthcare providers.
Telemedicine is a subset of remote patient monitoring that provides virtual medical consultations and treatments through video calls or messaging. Both remote practices aim to improve access to care, reduce the need for in-person visits, and increase patient engagement in their health.
To implement ChatGPT in remote patient monitoring, you would need a platform (cloud-based or on-premise) that could run the model and integrate it with other systems. This platform should be able to handle and store sensitive patient data in compliance with regulations and respect patient privacy.
ChatGPT can integrate with remote patient monitoring systems in many ways. It may interact with patients to track their symptoms on a regular basis and ask them about specific symptoms, such as pain levels, fatigue, or difficulty breathing.
Furthermore, the large-scale language model can integrate with devices that track vital signs, such as blood pressure, glucose level, heart rate, etc.
This way, it can remind patients to take their measurements, provide guidance on how to take them correctly, and alert healthcare professionals if there are any concerning changes in the patient’s vital signs. If a patient’s vital signs fall outside of a normal range, ChatGPT can alert a doctor, who can take appropriate action.
ChatGPT in telemedicine
As telehealth is gaining traction in recent years, medical workers should learn how to utilize this technology to enhance care delivery. With the help of AI models implemented in telemedicine software, doctors can make data-driven decisions that may improve health outcomes without the need for patients to enter the medical facility.
Here are some examples of telemedicine features that will make a ChatGPT-driven telemedicine tool the desired solution for providers and patients:
- Virtual Health Assistance. As the AI model is integrated into the telemedicine application, it can provide patients with information about their health, answer their questions, and assist with scheduling appointments and follow-up care.
- Medication Reminders. It can remind patients to take their medication and provide information about side effects.
- Follow-up Care. The large-scale language model may assist with follow-up care for patients recently discharged from a hospital or clinic. It might interact with them to ask about their recovery, provide self-care advice, and schedule follow-up appointments with healthcare professionals.
While ChatGPT has the potential to greatly improve healthcare, it is vital to approach its implementation with caution and carefully consider the potential risks and benefits.
From problems related to compliance with regulations, and the relevance of data, to privacy and security issues, ChatGPT might raise concerns and cause your healthcare business massive troubles if not taken the appropriate measures.
Therefore, it’s vital to consult a reliable IT company with a proven record of projects involving artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. Only when you introduce your partner to practice workflows and business objectives should you hop into such a challenging endeavor.