How AI Could Improve Patient Care (if Used Properly)

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What potential does generative AI offer to transform doctor-patient relationships in the US? How might chatbots empower patients?

AI could revolutionize the doctor-patient relationship in America by empowering patients with information and alleviating pressures on overburdened doctors. As generative AI becomes powerful and broadly used, AI companies and healthcare organizations must mitigate its potential risks and ensure its ethical, effective use.

Here’s how AI in patient care may be used to improve the healthcare experience.

Improving the Doctor-Patient Relationship

The average US primary care visit lasts just 19 minutes. Seventy-six percent of patients leave these appointments dissatisfied with their interaction with their physician and without a clear understanding of what they’ve been told. Fifty-nine percent of doctors practicing for 11 to 15 years experience burnout.

This status quo severely impacts the quality of communication and care that patients in the US healthcare system receive. Using AI in patient care could offer solutions—but also raises big questions for the future.


AI technologies like ChatGPT are poised to disrupt the patient-physician dynamic. AI can process huge amounts of medical data and research to provide patients with customized health insights similar to those of clinicians.

Both doctors and patients currently experience strains in the healthcare system. Physicians grapple with escalating demands on their time, limiting meaningful interactions with patients. Patients often feel rushed and unable to fully communicate their concerns to their doctors.

AI, if thoughtfully implemented, could help strengthen doctor-patient relationships by providing on-demand support for patients and automating doctors’ administrative tasks.

AI’s Potential Benefits to Patient Care and Physician Relations

Experts assert that, in the years ahead, AI is positioned to bolster doctor-patient relations by empowering patients and alleviating physicians’ burdens.

1. Empower patients. AI will soon increase patients’ access to information they’ve historically relied on doctors to provide. 

Armed with more knowledge, patients will be better positioned to engage with doctors on equal footing and have more meaningful conversations about their care.

2. Alleviate physicians’ burdens. AI offers the potential to relieve doctors of time-consuming work that hinders meaningful patient interactions and increase their capacities by:

By removing doctors’ burdens and improving their access to information critical to patient care, AI would give physicians more time to establish stronger connections with patients and engage in more satisfying aspects of their work.

Looking Ahead

Experts predict that in the next five to 10 years, AI tools will become 32 times more powerful, safe, and reliable. In this time, AI will continue to become more deeply ingrained in all facets of US health care and reshape doctor-patient relationships.

Until the technology is proven safe and reliable, however, experts say that healthcare and AI companies must take steps to ensure its ethical, and effective use and mitigate potential risks—including biased outcomes, inaccurate results, patient confidentiality breaches, and excessive patient dependence on AI advice. 

How AI Could Improve Patient Care (if Used Properly)

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Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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