A company that focuses on artificial intelligence in health care, Babylon Health, claims that a chatbot can pass the exam for general practitioners. And that is not the only thing. According to Babylon, a chatbot might as well make diagnoses as GPs themselves.
They have let the AI take the exam for general practitioners. Only questions that were public were used, because the test itself was not published anywhere. The AI had answered 81 percent of the questions correctly, while the average among students of Medicine was 72 percent. An exam is of course very different than being a doctor in practice. That is why they have done an extra test. The AI and seven doctors analyzed 100 sets of symptoms. The AI had a good 80 percent and the doctors varied from 64 percent to 94 percent.
The chatbot can also give digital consultations to patients. It can also make notes for the doctors and even detect emotional expression in faces and pass them on to the doctor.
Worldwide there is a great shortage of doctors. More than half of the world’s population has no or poor access to healthcare. The waiting times are very long in many places. The AI would allow more people to have access to good quality health advice.
Whether the real doctors can replace is still the question, but AI may be able to replace certain tasks. If this allows more people to be helped faster, it is of course worthwhile for Babylon to develop the technology further.