Munjal Shah, founder of medical AI startup Hippocratic AI, aims to leverage the recent advances in large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT for health care application ions. However, he wants to do so cautiously, focusing only on safe use cases that avoid high-risk medical decision making. He aims to provide supplemental health services that reduce provider burnout without ever diagnosing patients or making treatment decisions.
Hippocratic AI refers to the ancient physician’s oath to “first, do no harm.” For Shah, healthcare AI should assist human providers and ace them. Specifically, he believes LLMs can absorb the latest methods and communicate healthcareally to patients in a compassionate bedside manner. With infinite time and patience, they may surpass overworked staff in empathetic listening and clearly explaining self-care instructions.
Recent research has found AI responses for patient questions scored higher in quality and empathy than physicians’ replies. While cautioning not to overstate this, Shah argues the AI’s emotional consistency could boost chronic care adherence when well trained. The key for accuracy is evidence-based medical content, not the internet sources used to teach general chatbots.
What does safe healthcare AI look like in Munjal Shah’s approach? Hippocratic AI avoids high stakes diagnoses or treatment plans. Instead, it focuses on inherent healthcare stances like patient education, referral logistics, and nutrition support. This reduces demands on human clinicians without ever practicing medicine itself. Early testing shows it outperforms leading LLMs on medical exams and bedside manner benchmarks.
The staffing crisis in medicine only promises to worsen in the coming years. Munjal Shah believes AI, like Hippocratic, is crucial to increasing healthcare access if developed ethically. Far from replacing physicians, it extends its reach by offloading repetitive tasks and mindfully interacting with patients 24/7. This allows doctors and nurses to operate at the peak of their training, while patients receive both high-tech convenience and high-touch humanity in one package.