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

How does a colonoscopy work? ChatGPT provides credible answers

May 11, 2023 – Want to know what to anticipate during your upcoming colonoscopy? Ask ChatGPT.

A new study published within the journal Gastroenterology shows that the synthetic intelligence (AI)-based chatbot generates easy-to-understand, scientifically sound and, on the entire, satisfactory answers to common questions on colonoscopy.

Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that enables users to have personalized conversations with an AI bot that may provide detailed answers to any query asked.

There are already quite a few potential applications in lots of areas, including medicine.

In the primary study of its kind, researchers evaluated the standard of ChatGPT-generated answers to eight common patient questions on colonoscopy.

The questions focused on what a colonoscopy involves, why it's performed, find out how to prepare for it, possible complications, what to anticipate after the procedure, and what happens if the test is positive or negative.

The researchers chosen the questions (with human answers) from the web sites of three leading U.S. gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery hospitals and had ChatGPT answer the questions twice.

Four gastroenterologists rated 36 pairs of continuously asked questions and answers for understandability, scientific adequacy, and satisfaction with the reply.

Overall, physicians rated ChatGPT responses highly and on par with non-AI responses for all three quality indicators. In fact, among the ChatGPT responses were viewed as higher than the human-generated responses, Tsung-Chun Lee, PhD, visiting associate professor at Taipei Medical University in Taiwan, and colleagues found.

Interestingly, doctors were only in a position to appropriately discover the AI-generated answers in 48% of cases.

Although it's still early, researchers say ChatGPT and other AI chatbots could represent a “groundbreaking innovation” in the way in which medical information is created by doctors and utilized by patients.

It could also mean enormous time savings for healthcare employees.

Screening colonoscopies are sometimes the topic of patient questions. Looking ahead, the researchers say future research should cover a broader range of questions and in addition include patients evaluating the exams.