A clinical support company tests ChatGPT for dialogues with patients


HOKUTO in Tokyo is a provider of clinical support apps for physicians. The company’s clinical support app “HOKUTO” https://hokuto.app/offers free access to search medical information such as guidelines and drug information, calculation tools such as dosage of antibacterial drugs according to renal function, and medical article databases (PubMed, etc.). As of February 2023, the number of physician members is estimated to be more than 70,000.

The HOKUTO app has now introduced a function to support physicians’ work on a trial basis using the interactive AI “ChatGPT-4”.

This includes

(1) a function to assist in devising explanations to patients and

(2) a function to extract the latest research papers related to a keyword.

When explaining to patients, physicians need to provide accurate explanations and obtain patients’ understanding and consent. However, in actual medical practice, it is sometimes difficult to provide explanations according to the circumstances and medical conditions of individual patients, and OpenAI’s GPT-4 makes it possible to implement functions in HOKUTO to devise explanations of medical conditions according to the circumstances of individual patients. All the physician has to do is enter the patient’s age, gender, medical condition, the content to be explained, and the characteristics of the person to whom the explanation is to be given in a predefined format, and in just a few seconds, a draft of an appropriate explanation for the patient is generated.

For example, if the age of the patient is set to elementary school or younger, the system will generate a simple sentence plan that even a pediatric patient can understand. The system can also be translated into multiple languages, including English, and a voice reading function will be added in the near future.

Another function, which will be released soon, is to search and extract the latest medical articles according to keywords. The goal is to enable doctors who are busy with their daily practice to quickly check the latest medical papers. HOKUTO has developed a function that allows users to input keywords into the application and the AI will pick out appropriate articles from a large number of medical papers, not only summarizing them but also generating critically examined comments. The function will be released in the near future, and is intended to be used to evaluate research designs, validate statistical methods, and assess clinical significance and reliability.

However, since these functions are still in the experimental implementation stage, and there is no guarantee that the output text is safe, clinical sites caution to avoid direct use as a the only reference.

A clinical support company tests ChatGPT for dialogues with patients
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