New AI Tool DrugGPT Aims to Enhance Prescription Safety in England

New AI Tool DrugGPT Aims to Enhance Prescription Safety in England

Riddhi Doshi 08/04/2024
New AI Tool DrugGPT Aims to Enhance Prescription Safety in England

Medications play a crucial role in healthcare, yet errors in prescribing and patient adherence remain persistent challenges for healthcare providers.

Researchers from Oxford University have developed a new AI tool called DrugGPT, designed to provide a safety net for clinicians and improve patient understanding of prescribed medications.

The aim of DrugGPT is twofold: to assist clinicians in prescribing medicines more effectively and to empower patients with information to enhance medication adherence. By entering a patient's conditions into the chatbot, healthcare professionals can receive an instant second opinion, with DrugGPT generating a list of recommended drugs and highlighting potential adverse effects and drug interactions.

Professor David Clifton, leading the project at Oxford's AI for Healthcare lab, emphasizes that DrugGPT not only provides recommendations but also explains the reasoning behind them. The tool offers guidance based on research, flowcharts, and references, enabling clinicians to make informed decisions about medication selection.

While mainstream generative AI chatbots like ChatGPT and Google's Gemini have raised concerns about the accuracy of medical information provided, the developers of DrugGPT assert that their tool achieves competitive performance with human experts in US medical license exams. This performance is attributed to DrugGPT's ability to offer comprehensive and evidence-based recommendations, providing valuable support to healthcare professionals.

However, it is crucial to maintain human oversight and discretion in the prescribing process. Clifton underscores the importance of DrugGPT serving as a safety net rather than replacing human judgment entirely. The tool is intended to complement clinicians' expertise, offering additional insights and recommendations for consideration.

The need for improved prescription safety is evident, with research indicating that approximately 237 million medication errors occur annually in England, resulting in significant costs and, tragically, loss of life. These errors underscore the complexity of medication management and the challenges faced by healthcare professionals, particularly in high-pressure environments.

Patients also play a role in medication safety, as nonadherence to prescribed regimens can lead to suboptimal treatment outcomes and increased healthcare costs. DrugGPT aims to address this issue by providing patients with better understanding of their medications, facilitating informed discussions with healthcare providers, and ultimately improving adherence rates.

Dr. Lucy Mackillop, a consultant obstetric physician at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, highlights the potential of DrugGPT to enhance patient understanding and compliance with prescribed medications. By equipping clinicians with comprehensive information, DrugGPT has the potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce the incidence of medication errors.

Dr. Michael Mulholland, vice-chair of the Royal College of GPs, acknowledges the importance of implementing sophisticated safety measures in healthcare practice. While errors in prescribing are relatively rare, the introduction of tools like DrugGPT can provide valuable support to clinicians, particularly in managing complex medication regimens.

Ultimately, ensuring patient safety and optimal healthcare outcomes requires a multifaceted approach that includes adequate funding, staffing, and the integration of innovative technologies like DrugGPT. By leveraging AI to enhance prescription safety, healthcare providers can mitigate risks, improve patient care, and ultimately save lives.

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Riddhi Doshi

Mental Health Expert

Riddhi Doshi trains and coaches corporate leaders, educators and parents on issues of mental health and behavior. She is an internationally certified Parenting & Behaviour Coach. In past 15+ years she has conducted 2540+ open workshops, delivered 87000+ hours of talks, 53000+ hours of counseling sessions covering 59000+ students and 62,000+ women from various fields. Parenting sessions conducted by Riddhi are housefull and recent;y she completed her 366th Parenting session. She has been a speaker and advisor at various institutions and organizations including IIM, Ahmedabad, Rotary Club, Tata Power, Larson & Toubro and The Time of India. She holds an MBA in HRD, LLM and numerous other professional certifications from prestigious international institutions including University of Cambridge, BSY University, London, City & Guilds, London, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and NMIMS, Mumbai. She has been awarded with “National Award for Cultural Activities by AVANTIKA- Delhi”, “Excellence in Wellness”, “Young Entrepreneurs Award”, “Self Made Diva Award” among various others. With a mission to “make corporate leaders, educators and parents empowered and more aware about mental health & wellness”, Riddhi regularly gives interviews on leading media platforms. She loves to interact with corporate leaders, educators and parents to discuss about women issues, child psychology and parenting challenges.

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