Transforming Healthcare with Generative AI: Current Use Cases and Future Opportunities

Discover how Generative AI revolutionizes healthcare, personalizing care & accelerating drug discovery. Embrace strategic adoption for success!

Published on:

January 12, 2024

In the field of healthcare artificial intelligence, the emergence of Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) models has ushered in a new era of possibility. The global market for AI in healthcare was valued at around one billion US dollars in 2017, but it is expected to exceed 28 billion US dollars by 2025. This kind of growth is driven by one of the most recent iterations, GPT-4, which offers an improvement of 40% in factual response generation compared to its predecessor, GPT-3.5. It boasts the ability to handle more nuanced instructions and delivers more reliable and creative output. GPT-4's multimodal function, which allows for the processing of both text and image inputs, has the potential to revolutionize the fields of medical record-keeping and patient care. Though the implementation of GPT-4 and similar tools will depend on their availability and ease of use, their potential impact on the healthcare industry is substantial. These models generate exciting possibilities for personalized treatments, improved patient outcomes, and more efficient healthcare systems. They do, however, raise significant ethical concerns, such as the transparency and accountability of AI-generated healthcare decisions, the impact on healthcare disparities and resource allocation, and whether GPT-4 will replace doctors and take on their traditional role in healthcare. This article will explore the rise of Generative AI and its potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry, while also examining the ethical implications that must be considered by businesses as they navigate this exciting new frontier.

Applications of Generative AI in Healthcare

One of the most notable developments in the healthcare market for generative AI is its increasing prevalence in clinical research and trials. This technology is being used by researchers to identify potential targets for new drugs and to evaluate their efficacy with remarkable precision. Additionally, healthcare providers and other organizations are partnering with AI expert companies to develop cutting-edge automated systems in hospital pharmacies and clinical decision support systems, which are dramatically improving patient outcomes.

Latest developments have demonstrated the enormous potential of generative AI in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. According to reports, Johnson & Johnson and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) will confirm their intention to begin clinical trials of the J&J vaccine using generative AI techniques in June 2021. This innovative approach has proven to be a resounding success, with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine achieving a staggering $100 million in sales in the first quarter of 2021. Let's look at some of the most recent generative AI applications in the healthcare industry:

Synthetic data and image generation

In a groundbreaking development, generative AI is being utilized in the synthetic image and data generation in medical research, promising to advance the field of healthcare. Researchers can train AI models to develop new drugs, predict patient outcomes, and improve disease diagnosis using synthetic data, all while protecting patient privacy. Research suggests that Generative AI can help correct imbalanced and non-representative datasets by using synthetic minority oversampling technique (SMOTE) to augment the representation of minority data points resulting in mitigated algorithmic bias in healthcare uses of machine learning. By generating synthetic data, GANs can audit medical applications of machine learning by exposing algorithms to novel simulated data in adversarial testing. In addition, GANs can create synthetic digital twins that replicate the patterns of the true system, allowing for quicker data acquisition, labeling, and analysis. Generative AI has also been pertinent in producing synthetic medical images such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET), as well as retinal, dermascopic, and ultrasound images.

Disease diagnosis

A recent study looked at how generative adversarial networks (GANs) could be used to diagnose COVID-19 using lung images. GANs have shown potential in generating synthetic lung images to help train AI models to diagnose COVID-19. Researchers have also developed a new deep-learning model, called Wasserstein generative adversarial network (WGAN), that can improve cancer diagnosis by addressing the issue of imbalanced data in gene expression data. The model generates new samples from the minority class and balances the data distribution. This breakthrough could lead to more accurate cancer diagnosis and ultimately improve patient outcomes. BPGAN is a new generative adversarial network (GAN) developed by researchers that can synthesize brain positron emission tomography (PET) scans from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The BPGAN network could aid in the completion of missing data in multimodal medical imaging research as well as the diagnosis of brain disorder diseases such as Alzheimer's. As the healthcare industry continues to adopt and integrate AI technologies, generative AI is becoming an increasingly valuable tool for improving the accuracy and efficiency of disease diagnosis.

Patient care and privacy

The use of generative AI in medical transcription, virtual nursing assistants, and chatbot therapy has opened up new possibilities for remote care and improved patient outcomes. One of the primary advantages of generative AI is its ability to accurately transcribe medical documents such as prescriptions, which not only improves the accuracy of patient records but also allows healthcare providers to treat patients more efficiently remotely. The use of virtual nursing assistants driven by generative AI has the potential to save the healthcare industry billions of dollars per year by providing patients with more effective care and treatment. The use of generative AI in chatbot therapy is also driving market growth, with the potential to provide patients with more regular communication with healthcare providers and reduce the need for hospital visits.

However, with the increasing amount of data being shared in online repositories, there is also a growing risk of data being maliciously deanonymized. Synthetic data offers a solution to this problem by providing a method of anonymization that can be used to share data between institutions without risking patient privacy. Synthetic data preserves all the patterns from the original data while removing any patient-attributable information, allowing for the free and safe sharing of data.

Drug discovery

The pharmaceutical industry has long been on the hunt for ways to speed up the drug discovery process and bring new cures to market faster. According to experts in the field, the pharma industry spends around $250 billion annually on research and development and another $500 billion on clinical trials. Despite this massive investment, there are still tens of thousands of diseases without cures. That's why the industry is turning to generative AI to help streamline the drug discovery process and reduce the typical 10-year cycle. Nvidia recently launched its BioNeMo Cloud Service which provides drug researchers with pre-trained AI models that can help them create pipelines for drug development. These generative AI models are able to rapidly identify potential drug molecules and even design compounds or protein-based therapeutics from scratch. By reducing the time and resources required for drug development, AI could help the industry bring new cures to market faster and more efficiently. This could be a game-changer for the millions of people around the world who are suffering from diseases without effective treatments. With the potential to revolutionize the way that drugs are developed and improve patient outcomes, generative AI could be the key to unlocking new cures and changing the face of healthcare as we know it.

Medical education

In medical education, generative AI is becoming increasingly important as a tool for creating training materials and simulations for students to learn from. In a recent interview with Gunther Eysenbach, the founder and publisher of JMIR Publications, ChatGPT demonstrated its ability to generate virtual patient simulations and quizzes for medical students. One of the advantages of generative AI in medical education is the ability to create customizable training material. For example, if a student is struggling with a particular diagnosis, generative AI can create examples of that diagnosis to help the student learn. Additionally, generative AI can create synthetic data that presents students with a higher proportion of "edge-case" learning material, reducing the amount of material that the student is already comfortable with. Virtual patient encounters that simulate real-life medical scenarios can be created using generative AI. These interactions can help students improve their communication and diagnostic skills in a safe and low-risk setting. The uniqueness of the created material is another advantage of generative AI in medical education. Because each image is unique, it cannot be reverse-searched during exams and are likely to differ from the examples shown to students in lectures and during revision. Generative AI is also being used to create virtual instructors, with AI-generated characters. This technology could be used to create "fake" virtual patients with synthetic clinical presentations in the future. 

Challenges and Limitations of Generative AI in the Healthcare Industry

In the healthcare industry, there is great potential for generative AI, which uses deep learning models to generate synthetic data. However, there are several challenges and limitations that must be addressed before this technology can be fully integrated into healthcare practices. First and foremost, medical data are typically unstructured and lack uniform and standardized annotation. This means that the quality of medical AI algorithm models directly depends on the quality of data. If data quality is compromised, it may lead to inaccurate predictions and diagnoses, which can have severe consequences for patients. 

Accurate labeling of the synthetic data is also essential, as machine learning models are only as good as the data they are trained on. As synthetic data is not currently covered by standard data protection laws, there is a risk that this data could be disseminated beyond the organization's borders. This could allow for the malicious use of synthetic data to present it as real data in a clinical context, which could have serious consequences for patients. 

The opacity of algorithms is another challenge that can affect people's trust in AI in the medical settings. This lack of transparency can undermine the trust of patients and doctors in the technology, making it challenging to accept its use in clinical settings. Algorithmic errors or security vulnerabilities can pose significant risks to patients, highlighting the importance of security measures and error mitigation strategies.

Industry reports suggest that the cost of subscribing to generative AI software is a significant challenge for healthcare providers. The software is expensive, and there is also a shortage of skilled professionals who can operate this technology. This lack of infrastructure is expected to hinder the growth of the market and make it difficult for healthcare providers to take full advantage of the benefits of generative AI. Furthermore, the cost of training generative models is expensive and requires access to GPUs, and the synthetic data must be realistic enough to be useful, yet different enough to prevent the identification of original data points. Finally, recognized metrics are needed to measure the fidelity and anonymity of synthetic data. This will ensure that the generated data is both realistic and anonymous, preventing the identification of original data points and protecting patient privacy. Additionally, these metrics will ensure that the synthetic data is useful for training machine learning models, further advancing the field of healthcare.

Future Directions for Generative AI in Healthcare


Machine learning algorithms are projected to become increasingly sophisticated, with an enhanced ability to analyze vast amounts of healthcare data and detect patterns and trends. This will enable healthcare providers to make more personalized and precise diagnoses and treatment plans, thereby elevating patient outcomes to new heights. The global generative AI in the healthcare market is predicted to experience exponential growth in the coming years, according to recent research. The market, which was worth USD 0.8 billion in 2022, is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.0% to reach a valuation of USD 17.2 billion by 2032. One of the key drivers behind this growth is the potential for generative AI to reduce the administrative burden on clinicians by automating tasks such as referral letters, clinical coding, and consultation.

The rising need for prompt and accurate diagnosis of chronic diseases is a key driver behind the flourishing growth of generative AI in the healthcare landscape. This technology has emerged as a potent tool for detecting a wide range of ailments. Researchers are turning to various AI-based techniques, such as machine and deep learning models, to create sophisticated diagnostic algorithms that can swiftly screen for these illnesses.With the integration of generative AI, wearable health devices can provide real-time patient data to their healthcare providers and be programmed to alert physicians of any abnormalities or warning signs, resulting in timely interventions and improved patient outcomes. 

Governments around the world are ramping up their investments in the healthcare sector, catalyzing a surge in the adoption of generative AI. This technology is already being utilized in diagnostic algorithms to screen for diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. In addition, generative AI is increasingly being leveraged in clinical research and trials to identify potential drug targets and gauge their efficacy.

The healthcare industry is witnessing a surge in automation, as healthcare providers and organizations partner with AI expert companies. This partnership has resulted in the automation of hospital pharmacies and clinical decision support systems, driving market growth. The combination of increasing digitization and government initiatives to strengthen the healthcare sector presents a vast opportunity for generative AI in healthcare. This technology has the potential to simplify access to healthcare providers for treatment and improve the effectiveness of telemedicine. With generative AI, patients can receive personalized care regardless of their geographical location, leading to improved health outcomes and a more efficient healthcare system.


From personalized patient care to drug discovery and healthcare insurance, Generative AI has all the ingredients to revolutionize the industry in numerous ways. However, it is crucial to balance the benefits with the potential risks and ensure the safe implementation of the technology.  Successful adoption of generative AI in healthcare will require more than just the technology itself. It will require significant training, ecosystem building, and holistic approaches to challenges. Regulatory guidelines and supervision are also extremely crucial in the adoption of Generative AI-based models across the sector. Moreover, an encompassing solution can help companies differentiate their offerings when rivals inevitably mimic the underlying technology. With the diverse use cases and promising opportunities for enterprise-grade generative AI in healthcare, transformative change is inevitable, even in a conservative industry. The future is bright for those who embrace this technology with a strategic approach. 

With our expertise in large language model operations, we can help you harness the full potential of generative AI to transform your business and stay ahead of the competition. Our team of experts at Attri is standing by to answer any questions you may have and to help you get started on the path toward AI-driven transformation in healthcare. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.