Millions of us already trust Dr. Google, but now there’s a new online doctor in town.
A British medical student has created an AI chatbot that claims to provide “more reliable health information” than the search engine.
BTRU – pronounced Better You – crawls the pages of the World Health Organization to give users personalized answers, much like ChatGPT.
Ian Soh, 22, who is in his penultimate year at St George’s Medical Hospital in south London, insists the bot he created is “reliable”.
He said: “I believe in a time when people can take control of their health, find reliable health information, and make sense of their health, regardless of where it comes from.”
BTRU – pronounced Better You – was created by 22-year-old medical student Ian Soh
BTRU founder says he wants his platform to get better health advice online
Experts said the answers were wrong and it could cause unnecessary anxiety
BTRU has dismissed the idea that men can get pregnant, describing male pregnancy as a ‘science fiction subject’ that has ‘no basis in reality’
But experts today insisted that medical advice from AI can never replace that of a human doctor.
Gynecologist Narendra Pisal said knowing someone’s personal history is ‘vital’ for diagnosis.
Mr Pisa, from the private gynecology clinic in London, said: ‘This is one of the reasons why AI will not replace medical expertise.
“The ability to ask relevant questions about context is so important when giving medical advice.
“A lot of times that comes from getting a detailed history.”
Other experts expressed concern about some of the answers given by BTRU.
MailOnline tested the chatbot by asking: ‘I’m male, can I have uterine cancer?’
The bot said men could have cancer in their womb if they had “a history of high estrogen levels.” He added that the symptoms in men are “vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain and discharge”.
The NHS has quietly omitted the terms ‘women’ and ‘woman’ from its menopause webpage
Here are some examples of the waking language shifts that have engulfed the NHS. Some of these have been taken from national NHS communications while others are used by individual hospitals
Women’s health expert Dr Semiya Aziz, a North London GP, said: “II haven’t clarified the men’s terminology, so this is an incorrect answer.
Only biological women can get uterine cancer because men are not born with it.
However, women who become men and are diagnosed with the disease may consider themselves men.
Dr Aziz added that AI can create “unnecessary anxiety” for people who cannot see a doctor, and impact their mental health.
BTRU, however, rejected the idea that men could get pregnant, describing male pregnancy as a “science fiction subject” that has “no basis in reality”.
An NHS doctor has told MailOnline she has seen an increase in people claiming an emotional connection to ‘health robots’.
Dr Hana Patel, who works as a GP in south-east London, said: ‘I already have patients coming in with diagnoses from Dr Google and expectations of how to manage their symptoms.
“It can be even more difficult to deal with patients who trust and feel they have a connection with an AI health robot, especially if it gives them an answer regarding a question they have at the time. “
The search tool gave different responses to NHS advice pages, which have been criticized for erasing sexist language.
NHS advice for menopause is just one of the topics at the center of a gender-neutral storm.
He described the condition as “when a woman stops menstruating and is no longer able to get pregnant naturally.” But it now reads: ‘Menopause is when your periods stop due to a drop in hormone levels’.
The first mention of the term “women” in the new version is on the fourth page, in a section on drugs to treat the disease.
No such gender-neutral changes have been made to male cancers, such as testicular cancer.
The BTRU founder said he wanted his platform to get better health advice online.
He said: “I believe in a time when people can take control of their health, find reliable health information and make sense of their health, regardless of where they come from,” he added.