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  • Writer's pictureOzzie Paez

Is ChatGPT becoming Dr. ChatGPT?

The potential impacts and influence of ChatGPT on individuals seeking medical information, advice, and second opinions are difficult to quantify at this stage. The absence of detailed, published data on user prompts (queries) precludes comprehensive usage analysis. Interestingly, ChatGPT can’t provide answers on its usage because its training data (corpus) only includes publicly available information up until September 2021, two months before its launch on November 30, 2021 - See my prompt and ChatGPT4's response below.


ME:

What is the date of ChatGPT's training corpus?


ChatGPT

As of my last update in April 2023, the training data for the version of ChatGPT you're interacting with, which is based on the GPT-4 architecture, includes information up until September 2021. This means that the model's knowledge is current up to that point, and it does not have access to or awareness of events, developments, or data published after September 2021, unless it has been specifically updated or informed through other means in its design for tasks post-launch.



Despite these barriers, we know based on information from ChatGPT publisher OpenAI that there are 180-200 million ChatGPT accounts and 1.6 to 1.8 billion monthly website visits[i]. A conservative estimate is that millions of health related ChatGPT prompts are processed each month. This estimate is supported by the popularity of related social media content, Google Trends traffic reports, and acknowledged patient dissatisfaction with the current healthcare system.



Patient attitudes towards the healthcare system were surveyed in a recent Harris Poll on Patient Experience[ii], which reported significant patient dissatisfaction and concerns over costs, long waits for appointments, and limited time with their doctors. By contrast, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine comparing physician and AI chatbot responses to patient questions found that a majority of patients described chatbot interactions as more responsive, informative, and empathetic[iii].


Summary and Implications

These findings point to an industry ripe for technological disruption. With customers increasingly frustrated and seeking alternatives, ChatGPT stands out by offering cost-effective, immediate, and round-the-clock access to information, as well as more detailed and empathetic responses. These advantages position ChatGPT as a compelling alternative for patients looking for alternatives to traditional healthcare services and underscore a growing interest among users in exploring its use as a substitute provider of medical services and advice. These findings support our estimates of millions of health and healthcare-related prompts being processed each month.


My next post will focus on ChatGPT’s limitations and constraints, and their implications for patient quality of care.


References


[i] ChatGPT continues to be one of the fastest-growing services ever, The Verge, accessed February 12, 2024, https://www.theverge.com/2023/11/6/23948386/chatgpt-active-user-count-openai-developer-conference

 

[ii] The Patient Experience – Perspectives on Today’s Healthcare, American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), accessed February 12, 2024, https://www.aapa.org/research/patient-experience/

 

[iii] Chatgpt is more empathetic than the doctors. Fantastic!, ICT&Health, accessed February 12, 2024, https://ictandhealth.com/news/chatgpt-is-more-empathetic-than-the-doctors-fantastic/

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