A few weeks ago, GlobalSpec began an examination into how ChatGPT — the natural language processing tool that is driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and created by the AI research firm OpenAI — will affect specific industries, starting off with a look at its potential impact on the oil and gas industry. This follow-up feature will examine the impact ChatGPT is expected to have on the healthcare industry.

With reports circulating last spring that ChatGPT had passed the U.S. Medical Licensing Exam — a test all doctors must take to earn medical licensure in the U.S. — as well as a U.S.-equivalent radiology board exam, the possibilities for the AI-chatbots' use in the healthcare industry seem limitless — save its inability to read X-rays, make visual assessments and its tendency to make inaccurate assertions, that is.

Yet despite its imperfections, ChatGPT and its subsequent iterations are poised to alter how the healthcare industry operates. Here’s how:

Diagnostics and outcomes

Expectations are that ChatGPT will help to diagnose medical conditions and provide treatment recommendations for patients in the very near future. This is because ChatGPT has been trained on vast datasets of medical literature and electronic health records (EHRs). As such, the chatbot can analyze and understand a patient’s medical history and symptoms, thereby arriving at faster and more accurate diagnostics.

Further, this data can also be used to enable ChatGPT to make predictions about medical outcomes — length of hospital stays, risk of readmissions and mortality rates, for instance.

Personalized care

Also, thanks to the vast datasets used to develop ChatGPT, the chatbot can customize the care patients receive. This is made possible via the same avenues that enable ChatGPT to make diagnostics and predictions about outcomes: by analyzing patient data and medical history.

Patient support

In addition to the promise of better, more personalized care, ChatGPT may one day improve the resources available to patients. ChatGPT can reportedly serve to better explain to patients complicated medical terms and jargon, thereby improving their understanding of treatments available. Likewise, it can provide accurate and timely medical information to patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals, answering questions about symptoms, lab results, medical conditions, treatment options and medications, for example.

Further, ChatGPT could potentially be used to offer confidential mental health support to patients going through an illness or caring for a loved one who is ill.

Remote patient monitoring

Remote patient monitoring, which helps healthcare professionals to prioritize care delivery, enabling them to triage each patient and case based on nearly real-time patient status, could be improved when used in conjunction with ChatGPT. The data collected from blood pressure and heart rate monitoring tools could by analyzed by the chatbot and ChatGPT could subsequently send alerts to healthcare providers in the event anomalies are detected.


In this new era of telemedicine, ChatGPT can be the first line of care, helping triage patients by asking questions about their symptoms and medical history. This step could potentially enable healthcare providers to make more informed decisions during remote consultations.

Drug discovery

ChatGPT, which is capable of analyzing scientific literature, enables scientists to immediately extract information from large amounts of text. Consequently, experts suggest that this technology will be able to identify new drug targets or new compounds along with potential drug interactions through the analysis of scientific papers, patents and clinical trial data, thereby leading to new treatments for a variety of illnesses.

Virtual assistance

Because the healthcare industry, like almost every other industry imaginable, is inundated with repetitive tasks, ChatGPT could potentially reduce the workload on healthcare professionals taking on these redundant tasks such as appointment scheduling, answering queries, performing medical recordkeeping, medical translation and medication management, for instance.

Additionally, ChatGPT can function as an interactive FAQ system on hospital or clinic websites, offering instant answers to commonly asked questions about hospital or clinic services, insurance, billing and more.

Research and training

Those preparing to pursue a career in the healthcare industry could use ChatGPT to their advantage to instantly access information from medical literature in support of their own research or to generate hypotheses, for instance.

Medical students and other healthcare professionals can also use ChatGPT to simulate patient interactions, practice diagnostics and improve communication skills in a controlled environment.

These are just a few in what promises to be a long list of potential use cases for ChatGPT in the healthcare industry. Check back with GlobalSpec as we explore the ongoing impact ChatGPT will have on various industries.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com