Health Questions Answered by Google’s Medical AI

Google’s updated version of its Healthcare app MedPalm 2 will now be able to answer questions.

Image credit: Max Pixel

Google showed off an array of new artificial intelligence (AI)-driven health care tools at its annual event called “The Check UP”. The tools included a souped-up chatbot that can shed light on your medical symptoms to enhanced search features that tell you if a doctor takes Medicaid.

The company revealed new collaborations during the event to advance AI-assisted ultrasounds, cancer treatments, and tuberculosis tests, but the latest iteration of its Med-PaLM medical large language model generated the most interest. Late last year, Google debuted Med-PaLM for the first time. It's intended to offer excellent replies to medical queries. The first artificial intelligence (AI) system to pass multiple-choice questions resembling those in US medical license tests, or receive a score of at least 60%, was called Med-PaLM.

According to the manufacturer, Med-PaLM 2, the technology's second iteration, regularly answered medical test questions at an "expert" level. More accurate than 85%, Med-PaLM 2 scored 18% better than its previous scores, reports CNBC.

Dr. Alan Karthikesalingam, research head at Google Health, said the business also compares Med-responses PaLM's to those of actual medical professionals. He claimed that Med-PaLM assesses the veracity, bias, and risk of injury in its responses. The demo wasn't live, so Karthikesalingam provided controlled instances of how Med-PaLM 2 could respond to queries like "What are the earliest warning indications of pneumonia?" likewise, "Can incontinence be treated?" In several instances, Med-PaLM 2's responses were just as thorough as those offered by doctors, if not more so. But, Med-PaLM 2's replies weren't always as precise.

Read more: Google Shows Off AR Glasses With Translation In Real Time

“You can see from this sort of work that we’re still learning,” Karthikesalingam said during the event. Given the sensitivity of medical data, Karthikesalingam said that it would take some time before the typical customer had access to this technology. He stressed the significance of responsible and managed innovation.

Karthikesalingam stated that Google will continue to collaborate with academics and industry professionals on Med-PaLM and that the business will provide additional updates in the future.

Sam Draper
April 14, 2023

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