June 11, 2024

Today I attended an interesting panel discussion about AI in healthcare settings, with a particular focus on the patient perspective.

Clinicians have grown used to patients who have self-diagnosed after a few Google searches. A large percentage of those diagnoses can be safely dismissed. After all, even the best search engine results are rarely a match for the training and experience of a good medical professional.

But what happens as AI increases the quality of patient research and self diagnosis? There is still significant value in medical expertise, but AI-savvy patients and their advocates can now do things like scan all available research and summarize in language that is understandable to a lay person. They can ask LLMs to suggest possible diagnoses for hard-to-diagnose conditions that general practitioners might miss.

Medical professionals are going to have to adapt to patients that may be more well-informed about conditions and treatment options than ever before.