Google and ChatGPT Yield Mixed Results for Medical Queries

A study at UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering relied on 60 queries sent to both entities. They focused on dementia, given that six million Americans are impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or a related condition.
Half of the queries submitted by researchers enquired about the disease processes, and the other half looked for services that could assist patients and their families. Results were mixed.

Findings included:

  • Google has information that’s more up-to-date and covers more
  • ChatGPT is behind and will not include new medicines if recently released
  • ChatGPT provided more reliable and accurate information than Google
  • Google has a reliability problem as it presents reliable sources and advertisements
  • Both scored low for readability scores, making it difficult for people with lower levels of education and low health literacy skills

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research under the title “ChatGPT vs Google for Queries Related to Dementia and Other Cognitive Decline: Comparison of Results.”

“If you pick the best features of both, you can build a better system, and I think that this is what will happen in the next couple of years,” said Vagelis Hristidis, a professor of computer science and engineering in UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering.

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