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

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot released by OpenAI in December 2022, is receiving attention in various industries, including healthcare. The chatbot can answer questions and provide quick information in a conversational tone. However, experts warn it has limitations and risks as it shouldn’t replace a physician’s care. The data source of ChatGPT is the internet where there is a considerable amount of misinformation; hence, its responses should be vetted by a physician. Furthermore, ChatGPT’s training is limited to data until September 2021, potentially causing inaccurate information that could lead to harm. ChatGPT’s application to healthcare includes administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments and refilling prescriptions, making services more accessible and removing the burden of medical tasks. It also offers information about medications, mental health conditions, coping strategies, self-care practices, and resources for professional help. However, it shouldn’t be regarded as a substitute for a therapist. OpenAI prohibits ChatGPT’s usage for medical instructions, not allowing its use to provide diagnostic or treatment services for serious medical conditions. Providers that use ChatGPT for health applications are required to provide users with a disclaimer about its limitations. ChatGPT’s role in healthcare is expected to continue to evolve, with some experts believing its benefits will outweigh the risks if the medical community is actively involved in its development.

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