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Innovator Spotlight Series: Brad Kuo, MD

Oct 11, 2023 | Innovator Spotlight, News

Innovator Series

The CIDH Innovator Spotlight is a Q&A series that celebrates innovative ideas, highlights the important work that digital health innovators are doing to advance patient care and outcomes at Mass General Hospital, and shares key learnings about the innovation journey.

We are pleased to feature Brad Kuo, MD,neurogastroenterologist and the director of the Center for Neurointestinal Health at Mass General Hospital.


Q: Tell us about your innovation and the challenge(s) you are trying to solve. Who are the people involved?

BK: Our study explored the boundary of the clinical applications of conversational artificial intelligence (ChatGPT) in answering common patient questions about a common clinical procedure, colonoscopy. There are more than 15 million colonoscopy procedures performed in the US annually.

Gastroenterologists and nurse practitioners often spend hours answering various questions from patients, including what colonoscopy is, what to expect, and what will happen during and after the procedure.

I partnered with Dr. Tsung-Chun Lee, a visiting scholar from Taiwan who was trained at Stanford. We began to design and execute a study to explore the use of ChatGPT. Also, we pioneered an objective study framework to verify the quality of ChatGPT answers to patient questions. We aimed to exam the quality of ChatGPT answers in an objective way. MGH colleagues at the Center for Neurointestinal Health and the Division of Gastroenterology were involved in this project, including Drs. Kyle Staller, Vlaicu Botoman, Mythil P. Pathipati, and Sanskriti Varma.

Q: The innovation process can be long and challenging, but also rewarding. What inspired you to begin this journey?

BK: A belief that this was a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to explore the exponential growth of a ground-breaking technology that could change the practicing paradigm to improve patients’ lives.

Q: Where are you in the innovation cycle (i.e., early-stage commercialization)?

BK: We are still in the early stage of the innovation cycle, validating the first use case scenario using ChatGPT (or other large language models), after validation by physicians, to create first-line responses to common patient questions for high-volume procedures in the hospital.

The critical challenge will be gaining access to and modifying the core algorithms of ChatGPT, or adding a fact-check filter to ChatGPT answers before actual release for clinical use.

Q: What internal resources have been most helpful to you?

BK: A network of excellent colleagues who are apt to work together to accomplish great things.

Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another innovator in the Mass General Brigham network, what would it be?

BK: Be open to innovative ideas and collaborate with like-minded people. Create a solid study framework while adopting entrepreneurial methodologies of rapid iteration to push the project forward.

CIDH would like to thank Dr. Kuo for participating in our Innovator Spotlight Series and sharing valuable information with our digital health community.

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Center for Innovation in Digital HealthCare

Founded in 2018, CIDH serves as a catalyst to promote the entrepreneurial and research-minded digital health ecosystem at Massachusetts General Hospital. It provides operational and advisory support to internal innovators and outside industries seeking to collaborate on digital health initiatives.