ChatGPT Helps Diagnose Boy’s Rare Condition After 17 Doc Visits

Alex, who struggled with undiagnosed symptoms for three years, is on the path to recovery.
Recent studies indicate ChatGPT correctly diagnoses medical conditions 72% of the time.

After three years and consultations with over 17 doctors, a young boy named Alex was finally diagnosed with a rare condition by ChatGPT.

ChatGPT Helps Diagnose Boy's Rare Condition After 17 Doctor Visits

At the age of four, Alex began to suffer from chronic pain. Without daily pain relief, he would undergo severe meltdowns. His mother, Courtney, observed a shift in his behavior shortly after the pain began. Alex became irritable, constantly tired, chewed on objects, had frequent outbursts, and even started dragging his left foot. He also began experiencing intense headaches.

Courtney, who has chosen to keep her surname private, described the transformation in her usually cheerful son as alarming. When Alex started chewing objects, she initially suspected dental issues. A dentist visit led to a referral to a specialist who fitted Alex with an expander to improve his nighttime breathing. However, this only provided temporary relief as more symptoms emerged.

Upon realizing Alex’s stunted growth, Courtney consulted a pediatrician who attributed the developmental delay to the pandemic’s impact.

It was only after three years, and with the assistance of ChatGPT, that Alex was diagnosed with spina bifida and tethered cord syndrome.

Despite lacking a formal medical degree, recent studies suggest that ChatGPT’s diagnostic capabilities rival those of junior doctors. Courtney, desperate for answers, meticulously input Alex’s test results into ChatGPT, which identified tethered cord syndrome. This diagnosis resonated with Courtney.

Tethered cord syndrome, a condition where the spinal cord abnormally attaches to the spinal canal, affects less than one percent of US newborns annually. Alex’s condition was a result of spina bifida, specifically its mildest form, spina bifida occulta. This form is challenging to diagnose due to its subtle nature. Courtney mentioned that Alex’s defect resembled a birthmark, which went unnoticed.

Research of ChatGPT’s ability

Recent research from Mass General Brigham in Boston reveals that ChatGPT diagnoses correctly 72% of the time, comparable to resident doctors. Senior doctors typically have a 95% accuracy rate. Another study highlighted ChatGPT’s ability to pass the USMLE, a prestigious medical exam, with scores ranging from 52.4% to 75%.

Furthermore, a study from the University of California San Diego found ChatGPT to be more empathetic and detailed in its responses compared to human doctors.

After his diagnosis, Alex underwent surgery for his tethered spinal cord. He’s currently recuperating but is expected to recover swiftly. Today, Alex is a cheerful child who loves sports and interacting with his peers.

Alex Patel

An accomplished editor with a specialization in AI articles. Born and raised in NYC, USA. He graduated the Columbia University, and worked in tech companies of USA and Canada.

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