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Google's Med-PaLM 2 AI Health Tool Enters Testing Phase at Mayo Clinic

Google's Med-PaLM 2, an AI tool designed to answer medical questions, has been undergoing testing at the Mayo Clinic research hospital and other facilities since April. Med-PaLM 2 is an iteration of PaLM 2, which was introduced at Google I/O in May. Google believes this updated model can be particularly beneficial in regions with limited access to healthcare professionals. Med-PaLM 2 was trained on a specific set of medical expert demonstrations, making it more suitable for healthcare conversations compared to general chatbots like Bard, Bing, and ChatGPT.

A study released by Google in May highlighted some accuracy issues with Med-PaLM 2, showing that physicians found more inaccuracies and irrelevant information in its responses compared to human doctors. However, in other metrics like reasoning, consensus-supported answers, and comprehension accuracy, Med-PaLM 2 performed on par with human doctors.

Customers testing Med-PaLM 2 will have control over their data, which will be encrypted, with Google having no access to it. Google's senior research director, Greg Corrado, acknowledges that Med-PaLM 2 is in its early stages and may not be suitable for every aspect of healthcare. Still, he believes it can greatly expand the areas where AI can be beneficial in healthcare.


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