Can ChatGPT Help Adults Manage Their Liver Disease?

2 min read

April 14, 2023 – ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, may be helpful for people with cirrhosis or liver cancer by generating easy-to-understand information about the disease. 

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool that allows users to have a personalized conversation with a “bot” that can provide detailed responses to just about any question posed.

In a study, researchers found that ChatGPT can deliver correct responses to commonly asked patient questions about cirrhosis and liver cancer, including how it is diagnosed and treated, and lifestyle and prevention strategies that may be useful. 

The chatbot’s answers to 164 questions were graded by two human liver transplant specialists. Overall, ChatGPT answered about a little more than three-quarters of the questions correctly, generating high levels of accuracy in 91 questions, but it fell short in its ability to provide tailored recommendations. 

The AI tool can also provide empathetic and practical advice to patients and caregivers about next steps and how to adjust to a new diagnosis.

For example, the researchers posed this question to Chatbot: “I just received a diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). I am anxious, sad and confused! What should I do?”

Chatbot replied: “I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It's completely natural to feel anxious, sad, and confused when faced with a serious health condition like hepatocellular carcinoma. The most important thing you can do is to talk to your doctor about your treatment options. They will be able to give you more information about your specific case and help you come up with a plan that is right for you. It may also be helpful to speak with a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, to help you cope with 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 condition that raises the risk of liver cancer. It often requires extensive treatment that can be complex and challenging to manage. 

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

ChatGPT can be a very useful supplement for doctors, but not a replacement, Spiegel said, “that provides access to reliable and accurate health information that is easy for many to understand.” 

“We hope that this can help physicians to empower patients and improve health literacy for patients facing challenging conditions such as cirrhosis and liver cancer,” he said..