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article imageBabylon vs Doctors: Can a chatbot provide better medical advice?

By Tim Sandle     Jun 29, 2018 in Health
London - The healthcare chatbot company Babylon has claimed its chatbot beats doctors at medical exams. This claim is disputed by some in the medical profession.
A claim that the chatbot can diagnose medical conditions equal to a general practitioner (family doctor) has led to a disagreement between the Babylon software's creators and British doctors, according to the BBC.
This is based on Babylon, which developed the NHS GP at Hand app form the U.K. National Health Service, declaring that its second artificial intelligence offering achieves medical exam scores that are equivalent to with human doctors. This claim was made at a conference which took place at the Royal College of Physicians.
Babylon fed its chatbot a series of questions taken from the official exam set by the the Royal College of General Practitioners (the membership body family doctors, which certified doctors via an examination). CNBC notes that the average pass mark for real-life doctors over the past five years was 72 percent. Whereas, according to Bablyon, its new artificial intelligence offering scored 82 percent.
However, a different medical body, the Royal College of General Practitioners has stated that "no app or algorithm will be able to do what a GP does...An app might be able to pass an automated clinical knowledge test - but the answer to a clinical scenario isn't always cut and dried. There are many factors to take into account, a great deal of risk to manage, and the emotional impact a diagnosis might have on a patient to consider."
Forbes, reporting on the Royal College of Physicians event, note that at the center of the new chatbot is Babylon’s diagnostic engine. This is something that design engineers are continuing to train with data based on medical data drawn from interactions with humans
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