THE HAGUE: Artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT diagnosed patients rushed to emergency at least as well as doctors and in some cases outperformed them, Dutch researchers have found, saying AI could “revolutionise the medical field”.

But the report published on Wednesday also stressed ER doctors needn’t hang up their scrubs just yet, with the chatbot potentially able to speed up diagnosis but not replace human medical judgement and experience.

Scientists examined 30 cases treated in an emergency service in the Netherlands in 2022, feeding in anonymised patient history, lab tests and the doctors’ own observations to ChatGPT, asking it to provide five possible diagnoses.

They then compared the chatbot’s shortlist to the same five diagnoses suggested by ER doctors with access to the same information, then cross-checked with the correct diagnosis in each case.

Doctors had the correct diagnosis in the top five in 87 per cent of cases, compared to 97pc for ChatGPT version 3.5 and 87pc for version 4.0.

“Simply put, this indicates that ChatGPT was able to suggest medical diagnoses much like a human doctor would,” said Hidde ten Berg, from the emergency medicine department at the Netherlands’ Jeroen Bosch Hospital.

Co-author Steef Kurstjens said the survey did not indicate that computers could one day be running the ER, but that AI can play a vital role in assisting under-pressure medics.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2023

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