Chatbot-based AI health apps can't be a doctor: Study
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As millions of people turn to their mobile devices to talk to chatbot-based health apps, researchers have revealed that existing apps lack the functions to support the full diagnostic process of a traditional visit to a medical facility.

Researchers investigated the functionalities of popular chatbot-based symptom checker (CSC) apps through a feature review, then examined user experiences by analyzing user reviews and conducting user interviews.

These apps can only support five processes of an actual exam: establishing a patient history, evaluating symptoms, giving an initial diagnosis, ordering further diagnostic tests, and providing referrals or other follow-up treatments, reports researchers from Pennsylvania State University.

Users perceive CSC apps to lack support for a comprehensive medical history, flexible symptom input, comprehensible questions, and diverse diseases and user groups.

The findings could inform functional and conversational design updates for health care chatbots, such as improving the functions that enable users to input their symptoms or using comprehensible language and providing explanations during conversations.

Additionally, the findings could help individuals understand the influence of AI technology, such as how AI could influence or change traditional medical visits.

In the past, people generally trusted doctors. But now, with the emergence of AI symptom checkers and the internet, people have more sources of information.

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