Google announced new health initiatives and partnerships at its annual “The Check Up” event last month. The Google Health team provided updates on upcoming search features, app development tools, and the most recent artificial intelligence-driven health research.
As per CNBC, during the event, the company discussed new partnerships to aid in the development of AI-assisted ultrasounds, cancer treatments, and tuberculosis screenings, but the latest version of its medical large language model, Med-PaLM, generated the most buzz.
Google introduced Med-PaLM in December of last year. It is intended to deliver high-quality answers to medical questions. Med-PaLM was the first artificial intelligence system to achieve a passing score of more than 60 percent on multiple-choice questions similar to those on U.S. medical licensing exams.
Med-PaLM 2 consistently performed at the “expert” level on medical exam questions, according to the company. Med-PaLM 2 has achieved an accuracy of over 85%, 18% higher than its previous results.
Google Health’s research lead, Dr. Alan Karthikesalingam, stated that the company is also comparing Med-responses PaLM’s to those of real doctors and clinicians. According to him, Med-responses PaLM’s are evaluated based on their factual accuracy, lack of bias, and potential for harm.
The demonstration was not live, but Karthikesalingam demonstrated how Med-PaLM 2 might respond to questions such as “what are the first warning signs of pneumonia?” and “Is incontinence curable?” In some instances, the answers provided by Med-PaLM 2 were comparable or even more detailed than those provided by clinicians. In other instances, however, Med-PaLM 2’s responses were not as precise.
“This type of work demonstrates that we are still learning,” Karthikesalingam said at the event. Due to the sensitive nature of medical information, Karthikesalingam stated that it might be some time before this technology is available to the average consumer. He stated that it is essential to innovate responsibly and in a regulated setting.
Google will continue to collaborate with researchers and experts on Med-PaLM, and according to Karthikesalingam, the company will provide additional updates in the near future. It is essential that real-world applications be explored in a responsible and ethical manner, he said.