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Some doctors are using AI chatbots to deliver bad news to patients, the report said

From synthetic embryos to more inclusive BMI policies and the potential benefits of vaginal fluids – here are some of the week’s top health stories from Yahoo News partners.

Some doctors are using AI chatbots to deliver bad news to patients, the report said

According to the New York Times, some doctors are using AI chatbots like ChatGPT to communicate with patients – even helping doctors deliver bad medical news in a more empathetic way or write scripts to talk to patients more compassionately.

“I know doctors are using this,” an expert from Stanford Health Care told the New York Times about chatbots. “I’ve heard of residents using it to guide clinical decision making. I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Peter Lee said he expected many doctors would use the new technology to eliminate some of the mundane tasks that can take up doctors’ time, such as writing calls to insurance companies or summarizing patient visits . But Futurism, which reported on the New York Times story, said Lee was skeptical about using ChatGPT to deliver bad news.

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“As a patient, I personally would feel a little weird about it,” he told the New York Times.

Still, other experts argued that ChatGPT could bring real benefits to doctors’ interactions with patients, helping them simplify medical jargon and unravel more complex concepts when speaking to patients.

Doctors’ organization adopts new policy on BMI, recognizing ‘racial exclusion’ and ‘historical harm’

iStock/Getty Images Plus

iStock/Getty Images Plus

The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a new policy advising doctors to focus less on body mass index (BMI) – a commonly used ratio of weight to height – to determine whether a patient is a healthy weight, saying “ the problematic history of the disease” is acknowledged. with BMI” and that it does not take into account differences between racial and ethnic groups, genders and age groups, Reuters reported.

“Under the newly adopted policy, the AMA recognizes issues with using BMI as a metric because of its historical harms, its use for racial exclusion, and because BMI is primarily based on data collected from previous generations of non-Hispanic white populations,” says the AMA. AMA said this in a statement on Wednesday.

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Rather than making diagnoses and recommendations based solely on BMI, the AMA advised physicians to consider other measures of risk, such as “measurements of visceral fat, body fat index, body composition, relative fat mass, waist circumference, and genetic/metabolic factors.” ”

Researchers say applying vaginal fluids to C-section babies can help restore healthy bacteria

iStock/Getty Images PlusiStock/Getty Images Plus

iStock/Getty Images Plus

A study published Thursday, June 15 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe found that exposing babies born by C-section to their mother’s vaginal fluids shortly after birth can help retain some of the good bacteria. recover acquired by babies born vaginally, which can contribute to better health. gut health and potential benefits for neurological development, AFP reported.

In the small study of 68 babies, researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, used a method called “vaginal seeding”: swabbing each baby’s mouth and body with a gauze pad soaked in the baby’s vaginal fluid. mother of the baby or with a control agent. Six weeks later, after studying the babies’ fecal microbes, researchers found that babies exposed to their mothers’ vaginal fluids had more “mature” gut bacteria closer to those of vaginally delivered babies. Based on questions about developmental milestones, parents of babies exposed to vaginal fluid also reported that their babies had slightly more advanced communication and motor skills than the control group at ages 3 and 6 months.

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However, experts emphasize that the sample size is too small to draw firm conclusions about the purported benefits of vaginal seeding, and that parents should avoid trying vaginal seeding outside a clinical setting due to the risk of potentially passing infections to the child.

Scientists say they have created the world’s first human synthetic model embryos

Zernicka-Goetz Lab / California Institute of TechnologyZernicka-Goetz Lab / California Institute of Technology

Zernicka-Goetz Lab / CalTech

Researchers from the United States and the United Kingdom announced Wednesday that they have created the world’s first synthetic human embryo-like structures from stem cells, without using human eggs or sperm. CNN reports this.

The research has not yet been published, but was presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Boston by Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, professor of biology and biological engineering at CalTech and the University of Cambridge. Zernicka-Goetz emphasized that the embryo-like structures her team created are “not human embryos.” But these models, which mimic some features of a natural human embryo in the earliest stages of development, before a heartbeat is present, could prove invaluable for understanding genetic diseases or the cause of miscarriages early in pregnancy.

Zernicka-Goetz told CNN that the goal of her research is to prevent the loss of life, not create it. But it still raises legal and ethical questions for countries, including the US, which have no “laws regulating the creation or handling of synthetic embryos,” CNN reported.

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