According to a 2019 study, while 3 in 4 U.S. adults look for health information online, the majority experience frustration with accessing that information, with older adults expressing more frustration than their younger counterparts.1
Each search produces pages of options, the top results are paid ads and the rest are ranked based on relevance. The burden is on the consumer to align what they are reading with their personal situation coupled with what content is true or not. This coupled with the added frustration of the consumer waiting to meet with the provider – the average appointment wait time for a doctor’s appointment in 2022 was 26 days – an 8 percent longer time than 2017.2
AI, tools such as OpenAI, ChatGPT, create the opportunity to leapfrog current search engine technologies. ChatGPT is a conversational language model developed by OpenAI. It is based on the GPT-3 architecture, which stands for Generative Pretrained Transformer 3. ChatGPT is fine-tuned for conversational purposes and has the ability to generate human-like text based on the input it receives.
It can be used for various applications such as customer service, generating responses in a chatbot, language translation, and more. The model has been trained on a large corpus of text data, which enables it to generate responses that are relevant and appropriate in the context of the input.
Two recent papers show that large language models, including ChatGPT, can pass the USUS Medical License Exam (UPMLE)3
In Figure 1: Ask Genie, displays an example of how GenieMD applies ChatGPT to their virtual care platform. Let’s integrate the question “Is occasional drinking safe for me?” that was entered by the patient – it is a very subjective question. With the “Me” button on and prior to the app submitting the question GenieMD extracts key data elements from the patient’s medical records to contextualize the question in a HIPAA compliant manner. Given this unique approach, the response is personalized to better inform the patient. This approach is greatly simplified and streamlined compared to a search engine experience. After the patient reads the response, they always have the option to immediately reach out to a provider.
ChatGPT based tools have a significant opportunity to empower the consumer – the more this is used the greater the trust will be established. That takes the burden off a healthcare system with limited / diminishing resources. ChatGPT coupled with innovative integrations ChatGRT will further transition from a reactive (answer the question model) to a proactive responsive engagement – a health coach (that has passed the USMLE).
1Fierce Healthcare, Google roll out new search tools for health information on Medicare services. Rebecca Torrence, Dec 2021
2Patient Engagement HIT, Average Patient Appointment wait time is 26 days in 2022. Sarah Heath, September 2022.
3Medpage Today, AI Passes U.S. Medical Licensing Exam, Michael DePaeu Wilson, January 2023
Tom Foley, Sr Manager, Chief Growth Officer, GenieMD