Don’t Trust Artificial Intelligence for Advice on Varicose Veins

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Blog Don t Trust AI for Varicose Vein Advice

Artificial Intelligence is helpful—unless it’s not. Be sure to seek advice from a qualified doctor about your vein health. Don’t trust your well-being to a bot. Learn why from a real vein specialist.

To say Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the rage right now is an understatement. Used to help organizations and individuals make quicker, more accurate, and informed decisions, AI has potentially endless applications across every industry and in every corner of society, including education, healthcare, finance, insurance, transportation, telecommunications, manufacturing, and more.

Despite AI’s power and potential to revolutionize all these industries, it should never be a substitute for human judgment, especially when it comes to your health. A Center for Vein Restoration expert, Vinit S. Shah, DO, explains why a healthcare professional in consultation with their patient must always make the final decision about a course of patient care.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

In the most basic terms, AI refers to computer systems that use algorithms and statistical models to pull information from across the internet to perform tasks that, before now, require human intelligence to perform, such as decision-making, speech recognition, learning, reasoning, and problem-solving.

Examples include AI-powered:

Personal assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, help users with tasks like setting reminders, making phone calls, and sending messages.

Customer service: Chatbots and other virtual assistants keep businesses and customers in consent communication by providing customer service, answering common questions, and resolving issues—24/7.

Autonomous vehicles: Computerized self-driving cars analyze sensor data, make decisions, and prevent crashes.

Language processing: Language software systems such as ChatGPT are designed to simulate conversations between people, following instructions in the form of prompts and providing a response in the form of answers to questions.

AI and Healthcare

The information provided by ChatGPT and other software systems is generally mined through a web crawl of books, news articles, Wikipedia articles, and other text databases from the internet. The danger is that there is no vetting of the validity of the information provided by the bot. “ChatGPT, as currently conceived, is a parlor trick,” says Bern Elliot, vice president at Gartner, a technological research and consulting firm to CNBC. He adds, “It’s something that isn’t actually itself going to solve what people need, unless what they need is sort of a distraction.”

ChatGPT and varicose vein treatment advice can be a problem

To test this theory, we asked ChatGPT a question to which we already know the answer: “What is the best treatment for venous insufficiency (vein disease)?” The answer was equal parts correct, misleading, and a problem. It advised that the course of treatment depends on the severity of the vein disease (correct); mild cases can be resolved by refraining from standing or sitting too long (misleading); and vein stripping is a treatment option (a problem).

Speaking to a vein health expert IRL (in real life!)

We spoke to Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) vein expert Dr. Vinit S. Shah, lead physician at CVR’s Edison, New Jersey, and East Brunswick, New Jersey, vein clinic locations, and asked him if vein stripping is a modern vein treatment option (hint: it’s not)

“Vein stripping was the modality of choice (to treat vein disease) until newer technologies came around. The newer ones are laser as well as radiofrequency ablation. These new technologies are a vast improvement in patient experience. They are done in an office-based setting, which is much more comfortable for patients. It is quicker, doesn’t require general sedation, uses local numbing only, and offers quicker patient recovery.” – Dr. Vinit S. Shah, Center for Vein Restoration

Should I trust ChatGPT for medical advice?

According to the National Library of Medicine (NIH), Artificial Intelligence has a “limited” role in medical education (in automated test scoring, teaching, and research assistance) and clinical management (in documentation and communication with patients). However, they conclude that AI “cannot be considered as a replacement for human capability and knowledge, as it is still plagued by the limitations that AI faces.”

Further, as of this writing, ChatGPT only has access to information up to 2021, meaning that users are not getting the latest health information. Google, on the other hand, can access the most up-to-date information on the internet.

Count on the vein health experts at Center for Vein Restoration (CVR)

CVR’s board-certified vein (real life!) doctors positively impact the lives of over 200,000 patients annually, conducting more vein procedures than any other vein clinic or hospital. We consistently earned a 98 percent patient (again, real-life!) satisfaction rating over the past ten years because of the compassionate care and customized treatment plans that we provide our patients. Treatment is covered by most insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.

AI isn’t a replacement for expertise in vein health, and it certainly is not a substitute for a medical degree. Trust your health to a (real) vascular expert. Schedule an appointment ONLINE today!

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