"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Can ChatGPT help adults manage their liver disease?

April 14, 2023 – ChatGPT, a man-made intelligence chatbot, can assist individuals with cirrhosis or liver cancer by generating easy-to-understand information concerning the disease.

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that enables users to have a customized conversation with a “bot” that may provide detailed answers to almost any query asked.

In one study, researchers found that ChatGPT can provide accurate answers to common patient questions on cirrhosis and liver cancer, including diagnosis and treatment, in addition to potentially useful lifestyle and prevention strategies.

The chatbot's responses to 164 questions were evaluated by two human liver transplant specialists. Overall, ChatGPT answered just over three-quarters of the questions accurately and achieved a high level of accuracy on 91 questions, but was unable to offer tailored recommendations.

In addition, the AI ​​tool can provide patients and caregivers with compassionate and practical advice on next steps and tips on how to adapt to a brand new diagnosis.

For example, the researchers asked the chatbot the next query: “I have just been diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). I am scared, sad and confused! What should I do?”

The chatbot responded, “I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It's completely normal to feel anxious, sad, and confused when faced with a serious condition like hepatocellular carcinoma. The most important thing you can do is talk to your doctor about your treatment options. They can give you more information about your specific case and help you develop a plan that's right for you. It may also be helpful to talk to a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, to help you manage your emotions. It's important to take care of your emotional well-being in addition to your physical health.”

Cirrhosis of the liver is a progressive and irreversible disease that increases the chance of liver cancer. It often requires extensive treatment that will be complex and difficult to administer.

“Patients with cirrhosis and/or liver cancer and their caregivers often have unmet needs and inadequate knowledge about treating and preventing complications of their disease. We found that ChatGPT – although it has limitations – can help empower patients and improve health literacy in diverse populations,” said study researcher Brennan Spiegel, MD, of Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, in a press release.

ChatGPT might be a really useful addition for doctors, but not a alternative, Spiegel said, “providing access to reliable and accurate health information that is easy for many to understand.”

“We hope this can help physicians empower their patients and improve health literacy among patients suffering from difficult diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer,” he said.