JAMA presents questions on use of AI healthcare chatbot

The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published a viewpoint piece that presents the clinical, ethical, and legal aspects that should be considered before applying artificial intelligence (AI) powered conversational agents, popularly known as chatbots. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, chatbots have increasingly become more prevalent in healthcare spaces. The viewpoint piece presents 12 considerations for clinicians and healthcare professionals to help promote safe and effective use of chatbots into healthcare practice. The points of consideration include: patient safety, trust and transparency, data use and privacy, bias, third-party involvement, and more. It states that the studies on chatbots rarely incorporate assessments of unintended consequences or safety issues and evidence suggests chatbots are not mature enough yet to respond to statements from patients in all circumstances.