Patients and medical professionals are one step closer to getting expert medical advice from ‘Dr Google’, as the software giant enters a new phase in its AI healthcare development.

Google will soon begin rolling out its medical large language model, Med-PaLM 2, to select users, providing them with a sneak peek into the tool’s ability to answer both simple and complex medical queries. 

Presenting at the recent Google health event, The Check Up, Dr Alan Karthikesalingam, Research Lead, Google Health, said: “We’re exploring how AI models in medicine can use language and interactivity to be more effective, more helpful, and safer. Late last year, we took our first step towards rethinking conversational AI systems in medicine with Med-PaLM 2, a large language model designed to provide high-quality and authoritative answers to medical questions.”

What does this mean for Google’s healthcare clients?

Med-PaLM 2 will be available to select Google Cloud customers in the next few weeks as it undergoes the first phase of testing. 

The tool was developed following rigorous research and extensive input from clinicians, according to Google, which says Med-PaLM 2 performs at ‘expert’ level, having reached 85% accuracy on US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)-style questions.

Tailored to meet the complex and evolving needs of healthcare providers and professionals, Google researchers hope that Med-PaLM 2 will be used to ‘facilitate rich, informative discussions, answer complex medical questions, and find insights in complicated and unstructured medical texts’.

The roll-out is the culmination of years of AI research and development at Google, but there’s still more to be done. 

In developing and refining Med-PaLM 2, researchers assessed the model against a range of criteria, including scientific factuality, precision, medical consensus, reasoning, bias and harm. The project was also guided by input from physicians and clinicians from a diverse range of backgrounds and locations. The resulting evaluation highlighted some remaining knowledge gaps that Google is hoping to fill as it explores the tool’s real-world application. 

“By working with a handful of trusted healthcare organizations early on, we’ll learn more about what can be achieved, and how this technology can safely advance. For all of us, the prospects are inspiring, humbling, and exciting,” says Aashima Gupta, Global Director of Healthcare Strategy & Solutions, Google Cloud.

It may be a while before Google’s AI tools enjoy widespread adoption in medicine, but healthcare firms can still leverage the power of cutting-edge technology via the Google ecosystem. 

Google’s suite of cloud-based tools help healthcare firms streamline their processes to provide more efficient, targeted, and comprehensive services to clients and patients. These innovative products can transform the way providers work with intuitive business solutions available with minimal start-up costs. 

As a Google Cloud Premier Partner, UpCurve Cloud has helped many healthcare organizations implement, install, and use Google’s extensive range of business and health-focused applications. Our team of experienced Google-certified engineers and consultants can help your firm build an IT infrastructure that optimizes your resources and ensures continuity of service as your organization grows. Get in touch today to schedule a consultation or find out more.

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