How ChatGPT might help your family doctor and other emerging health trends data – New technologies like machine learning are speeding up the development of new diagnostic tools and medical treatments — and also helping with paperwork.
Health innovation and technology in Canada has always been strong, but the health sector is now experiencing growth at a new record pace we haven’t seen before.
COVID-19 helped accelerate change, new technologies like OpenAI’s ChatGPT are also having an impact. Plus, Canadian companies are leveraging machine learning to develop new therapies, diagnostics and patient platforms.
“There’s a lot of really interesting drivers out there for innovation,”
says Jacki Jenuth, partner and chief operating officer at Lumira Ventures.
“We’re starting to better define some of the underlying mechanisms and therapeutics approaches for diseases that up until now had no options, such as neurodegenerative diseases. And researchers are starting to define biomarkers to select patients more likely to respond in clinical settings — that’s really good news.”
Next week, the annual MaRS Impact Health conference will bring together health care professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers and other stakeholders. Here’s a sneak preview of some of the emerging trends in the health care and life sciences space they’ll be exploring.
Women’s health funding isn’t where it should be, says Annie Thériault, managing partner at Cross-Border Impact Ventures. Bayer recently announced it’s stopping R&D for women’s health to focus on other areas. Other pharmaceutical companies such as Merck have made similar decisions in recent years.
“It’s hard to imagine why groups are moving in that direction, because we’re seeing huge revenue opportunities in these markets,”
“A lot of exciting things are happening.”
One area that Thériault has been watching closely has been personalized medicine that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning or sophisticated algorithms to tailor treatment for women and children. For instance, there are tools that provide targeted cancer treatments that use gender as a key input.
“In the past, that maybe wouldn’t have been thought of as an important variable,”
In prenatal care, there are new tools related to diagnosing anomalies in pregnancies through data.
“What we see in maternal health is a lot of inequalities,”
“But if the exam is performed with the same level of care, accuracy, and specificity, then analyzed through AI to spot problems, you can make positive health outcomes and hopefully a less unequal health system.”
New technologies like ChatGPT have shown the potential of not just getting AI and machine learning to take large data sets and make sense of them, but also to create efficiencies when it comes to doing paperwork with that information.
“I always thought we’d get to this point, but I just didn’t think we’d get to here so soon where we are talking about AI really changing the nature of jobs,”
says Frank Rudzicz, a faculty member at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence.
“And it’s just getting started.”
There are a lot of inefficiencies in health care that AI can help with. Doctors, for instance, spend up to half their time working on medical records and filling out forms. (A recent study from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business found that collectively they are spending some 18.5 million hours on unnecessary paperwork and administrative work each year — the equivalent of more than 55 million patient visits.)
“That’s not what they signed up for,”
“They signed up to help people.”
While people are becoming more comfortable with using technology to track and monitor their health — whether that be through smartwatches, smartphone apps or genetic testing — there aren’t as many connection points for them to use that data with their family doctor. There is an opportunity, Rudzicz says, to use data and technologies such as machine learning, with proper guardrails and patient consent, to sync the data with your doctor’s records to help with diagnosis and prescribing.
“Ultimately, doctors are trained professionals and they need to be the ones who make the diagnosis and come up with treatment plans with the patients,”
“But once you get all the pieces together, the results could be more accurate and safer than they have been.”
Plus, there are a lot of possible futures for technologies like ChatGPT in health care, such as automating repetitive tasks like filling out forms or writing requisitions and referral letters for doctors to review before submitting.
“The barrier to entry for anything that will speed up your workflow is going to be very low and easily integrated,”
While there’s been a slowdown in venture capital funding, with fewer dollars available as markets become more rational after the record highs of the last few years, there’s still funding to be found, says Lumira’s Jenuth. Management teams in the life sciences space just have to be more resourceful and explore all possible avenues of funding, including corporations, non-dilutive sources, foundations and disease specific funders, she adds.
“It helps to build deep relationships with investors who want to make an impact in the health sectors,”
“The pitch needs to be targeted for each one of these groups. You’ll hear a lot of nos, so you need to be tenacious. It’s not easy.”
How ChatGPT might help your family doctor and other emerging health trends
With the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) over recent years has given rise to ground-breaking advancements in natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning.
At the forefront of this AI revolution is OpenAI’s latest offering, GPT-4, which is poised to redefine the future of communication and industry applications.
ChatGPT is capable of generating human-like responses to a wide range of queries, making it an ideal tool for healthcare applications. From personalized treatment plans to remote patient monitoring, ChatGPT is transforming the way healthcare providers deliver care to their patients.
Medical recordkeeping: ChatGPT can be used to generate automated summaries of patient interactions and medical histories, which can help streamline the medical recordkeeping process. With ChatGPT, doctors and nurses can dictate their notes, and the model can automatically summarize key details, including symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments. Medical professionals can also use ChatGPT to extract relevant information from patient records, such as lab results or imaging reports.
Drug information: ChatGPT can be used to provide real-time information about drugs, including side effects, interactions, and potential contraindications. Patients can communicate with ChatGPT using natural language, and the model can respond with accurate and timely information, helping patients make informed decisions about their medications. ChatGPT can also provide information about the proper dosage, administration, and storage of medications, as well as potential alternatives for patients who are allergic or intolerant to specific prescriptions. Additionally, healthcare providers can use ChatGPT to stay informed about new medications, drug recalls, and other important updates in the pharmaceutical industry.
Virtual assistants for telemedicine: ChatGPT can be used to develop a virtual assistant to help patients schedule appointments, receive treatment, and manage their health information. With the rise of telemedicine, many patients now prefer to receive care from the comfort of their homes — and a virtual assistant powered by ChatGPT can provide patients with the guidance and support they need to manage their health remotely.
Clinical decision support: ChatGPT can be used to provide real-time, evidence-based recommendations to healthcare providers to improve patient outcomes. For example, ChatGPT can be used to suggest appropriate treatment options for a particular condition, flag potential drug interactions, and provide clinical guidelines for complex medical cases. By providing quick and reliable support, ChatGPT can help clinicians save time, reduce errors, and improve patient care.
Medical translation: ChatGPT can be used to provide real-time translation services to facilitate communication between patients and healthcare providers. With its advanced language processing capabilities, ChatGPT can accurately and quickly translate medical jargon, technical terms, and common expressions, allowing patients to understand their diagnosis, treatment options, and medication instructions.
Medication management: It can be challenging for patients to keep track of their medications and follow dosage instructions from doctors, particularly if they’re taking multiple meds. ChatGPT can be used to help patients manage their medications, including reminders, dosage instructions, and potential side effects. ChatGPT can also provide patients with information about drug interactions, contraindications, and other important considerations that can affect medication management.
Disease surveillance: Medical experts and regular citizens can also use ChatGPT to monitor global health data, which can give them real-time insights into potential outbreaks and facilitate early response efforts. By analyzing large volumes of data from various sources like news reports and public health databases, ChatGPT can detect patterns and anomalies that may indicate the emergence of a new disease or the spread of an existing one. The model can also provide automated alerts to public health officials, healthcare providers, and the general public, empowering them to take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of disease.
Medical writing and documentation: ChatGPT can be used to help healthcare professionals write and document medical reports, such as clinical notes and discharge summaries, by providing real-time suggestions and corrections.
Clinical trial recruitment: Clinical trials are an essential part of developing new treatments and therapies for various health conditions — but recruiting participants for clinical trials can be challenging. ChatGPT can be used to identify potential participants for trials by analyzing large amounts of patient data and identifying individuals who meet the trial’s eligibility criteria. By leveraging ChatGPT’s capabilities, clinical trial recruitment efforts can become more efficient, targeted, and effective in reaching diverse populations.
Creating symptom checkers: Symptom checkers are a valuable tool for patients who want to understand their symptoms and determine if they should seek medical attention. ChatGPT can be used to develop virtual symptom checkers to help patients identify and interpret potential health issues. The symptom checkers can also provide guidance on next steps, and even provide information on self-care measures that a patient can take before seeking medical attention, such as home remedies or over-the-counter medications.
Patient triage: ChatGPT can be used to triage patients by asking them questions about their symptoms and medical history to determine the urgency and severity of their condition.
Medical education: Medical education is a lifelong process for healthcare professionals, and keeping up with the latest research, guidelines, and practices can be challenging. ChatGPT can provide instant access to relevant medical information and resources for students and healthcare professionals, supporting their ongoing learning and development.
Mental health support: ChatGPT can be used to provide behavioral health support to patients, including screening for mental health conditions, offering coping strategies, and connecting patients with resources for further support. This can keep more money in government coffers.
Remote patient monitoring: Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is an increasingly popular way to improve patient outcomes while reducing healthcare costs. ChatGPT can be used to monitor patients remotely by analyzing data from wearables, sensors, and other monitoring devices, providing real-time insights into a patient’s health status. ChatGPT can analyze this data and provide alerts to healthcare providers if a patient’s condition deteriorates or if there are other concerning trends. This can help healthcare providers intervene early and prevent hospitalizations or other complications.
How ChatGPT might help your family doctor and other emerging health trends
All medical professionals — especially healthcare executives — must understand the capabilities of advanced AI tools and other disruptive innovations so they know how emerging technologies might bring opportunities and threats to their organizations.