Google AI tool Med-PaLM 2 in testing at the Mayo Clinic

The AI tool has been in testing at the Mayo Clinic research hospital since April 2023 and aims to support Google in helping improve healthcare tech

Google’s AI tool, Med-PaLM 2 is in the testing stages at the Mayo Clinic research hospital, having been tested since April 2023. A variant of PaLM 2, the chatbot is being tested at the US non-profit organisation as part of a partnership to help create a more responsible path to generative AI in healthcare.

The AI chatbot aligns with Google’s continued commitment to invest responsibly in AI and ensure processes that are both safe and beneficial towards humanity. The company is so far impressed with Med-PaLM 2’s performance on medical exam-style questions, but desire to learn more about how it can be harnessed to benefit those in healthcare, including patients.

Med-PaLM 2: Harnessing the power of Google LLMs

Med-PaLM 2 aims to align effectively with the medical domain to more accurately and safely answer medical questions. It was the first AI system to reach a passing score on the MedMCQA dataset, scoring 72.3%.

Google states that these types of industry-tailored LLMs are part of a rapidly increasing family of generative AI technologies that have potential to enhance healthcare experiences. The company is working towards helping customers understand how Med-PaLM 2 might find insights in complicated and unstructured medical texts, as well as drafting short and long-form responses and summarising documentation from internal data sets.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google believes that its updated AI model could be particularly helpful in countries with limited access to doctors. In addition, its conversational abilities have potential to be better than more generalised chatbots.

Google has made clear that it is not intending to replace in-person medical consultations for diagnoses or treatments. It also is aiming to build and test Med-PaLM 2 with a focus on safety and equity, whilst also evaluating unfair biases.

Importance of data protection in AI healthcare

AI is already unlocking great potential within healthcare sectors. Google DeepMind in particular achieved many scientific breakthroughs with AI, with the most recent being AlphaFold which can predict protein structures. They have effectively changed the way that this type of science operates, as researchers can analyse data in a much shorter space of time and hopefully tackle diseases.

However, safety is paramount as these types of digital assets continue to rapidly expand. The use of AI in medical settings has inevitably raised concerns over privacy and data breaches, prompting Google to ensure that customers testing Med-PaLM 2 retain control over their encrypted data.

Through working with trusted healthcare organisations, Google is hoping to learn more about what can be achieved with AI. It aspires to discover more about how this type of technology can advance safely, as well as in an exciting and innovative way.


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