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ChatGPT as pivot for digital healthcare professionals

30th November 2022 heralded the dawn of a major paradigm shift in the machine-based learning world. On that fateful date, Open AI, an American tech firm, publicly launched ChatGPT, a Large Language Model (LMM) based Chatbot. Users were overwhelmed with the advanced human-like machine communication and the vast array of subjects and topics it covered. Built on 175 billion parameters and backed by the immense computing power of Generative Artificial Intelligence, ChatGPT made history by becoming fastest growing application. Within two months, it reached the 100-million user figure and in six-month period its monthly visits touched the 1.85 billion mark.

Buoyed by the imagination and intensive work of scientists and technologists, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has evolved as an impressive human endeavor of capturing the depth of human-machine interaction. It was a gradual journey of testing the limits and expanding the frontiers of technology through human ingenuity. Over the decades, we witnessed various innovations in software tools and hardware machines to improve automation and enhanced computation power. The initial foray of narrow AI resulted in the development of expert systems and smart devices, where algorithms were designed for specific tasks. This path is continuing with ensuing intricacies in the shape of autonomous vehicles, speech chatbots, image recognition and other applications.

However, Generative AI is a transformational step ahead of narrow AI. It is a progression based upon computation architecture that mimics the complexity of the neural network of the human brain. With the advancements in computation power, scientists were able to create large Artificial Neural Network for handling humongous amount of data. This led to the creation of highly intelligent algorithms of Generative AI, which are designed to generate new combinations of data than to just retrieve data. It can create content, draw images, write codes, read books and provide advice on personal and professional matters. LLMs, such as ChatGPT, have emerged as the biggest manifestation of this Generative AI.

It is clear that ChatGPT is not the only game in the town. There are numerous other players vying for space and their own niche. However, ChatGPT has the head start and with the launch of highly powerful GPT-4 version in March 2023, it has become the biggest LLM. With 1.76 trillion parameters, it is now surged ahead in the competition. As per Goldman Sachs’ estimation, assimilation of Generative AI tools in the global economy can contribute 7% to the GDP or $7 trillion. We are witnessing a rapid influx of enterprises from diverse sectors integrating their systems and applications with ChatGPT and other LLMs for enhanced productivity and growth.

Healthcare has emerged among the top sectors in adaptation of ChatGPT in their operations. This aligns with the health sector’s trend of embracing new innovations and technologies in various avenues from drug discovery to usage of robotics in surgery. It is obvious that developed countries are leading this race of Generative AI adaptation. In March 2023, Nuance Communication, a US-based clinical documentation company, integrated GPT-4 in its Electronic Health Records (EHRs) system. More tech enterprises and healthcare firms are joining hands to leverage usage of ChatGPT in patient communication, diagnostic support, clinical decision making and telemedicine. In the mental health segment, Generative AI-powered virtual therapists are already in the market. Enhanced usage of these AI tools is leading greater productivity and better outreach by healthcare professionals, improving access of quality healthcare. It even reduces financial burden of healthcare on patients. Concerns about LLMs’ hallucination, logic errors and reasoning limits exist within the medical community. However, various APIs and plugins, along with due diligence, are significantly to risk mitigation.

Generative AI integration is furthering digitization of healthcare professionals in both developed and developing countries. Internet access is becoming an equalizer in otherwise prevalent health inequity in the world. According to the World Bank, the global population has almost reached the 8-billion mark, with over 84% inhabitants residing in low and middle-income countries. In terms of government expenditures on healthcare, wealthy countries are spending 9.2% of their GDP, which is over three times the percentage spent by low and middle income countries. It is evident that this significant expenditure gap in healthcare will persist, but incorporation of internet-based Generative AI models such as ChatGPT may prove to be an economical option.

It is imperative to mention that the healthcare sector in Pakistan should seek early adoption of Generative AI models such as ChatGPT in their practices and operations. These tools are available on the internet with low barriers to entry, but require high ingenuity for innovative solutions. With Generative AI, healthcare is undergoing major transformational changes and Pakistan cannot be an exception. It is an opportune time for the local healthcare industry to leverage powerful AI-tools such as ChatGPT as the pivot for creating Digital Healthcare Professionals.

Zia Banday, "ChatGPT as pivot for digital healthcare professionals," Business recorder. 2023-10-04.
Keywords: Science and technology , Artificial intelligence , Financial burden , Programming languages , Digital communication , AI integration , ChatGPT , Technology , AI

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