Artificial Intelligence in Health Communication

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been defined as “a feature where machines learn to perform tasks, rather than simply carrying out computations that are input by human users.” AI has been around since the 1950s. But the rapid growth of AI in the 2010s and 2020s has led to an explosion of AI applications for health communication. For instance, chatbots (or virtual assistants) are software programs that mimic human speech and text. 

These innovations have implications for health literacy. Below is a collection of resources on the use of AI in health communication.

  • This 2022 scoping review by Lee Wilson and Mariana Marasoiu explores the evidence for using chatbots in public health. The article states that while using chatbots in this way shows promise, there is limited evidence for its efficacy. It also notes clinical, legal, and ethical concerns about using chatbots Read More

  • This 2023 article summarizes a talk by Francisco Iacobelli at Northeastern Illinois University about his research team’s work to create an intelligent tutoring system. The system uses AI to tutor Latina breast cancer survivors who have low literacy. #ArtificialIntelligence

  • This 2023 article by Patrick Boyle discusses what happens when doctors use chatbots to monitor patients’ health at home and reply to patients’ messages. The article addresses the risks and benefits of these practices. It also tells how to use chatbots effectively in this manner. #ArtificialIntelli Read More

  • This 2019 article by Rafal Kocielnik and colleagues describes a study about assessing patients’ social needs. The researchers found that participants with high health literacy preferred to be screen via a traditional survey platform because they found it more efficient. However, participants with Read More

  • In this 2023 podcast, health literacy expert Helen Osborne speaks with Claire Wardle from the Brown University School of Public Health. The podcast focuses on AI and health communication. You can also read a transcript of the podcast. #ArtificialIntelligence

  • This 2023 article by Brian Chen offers advice on using AI chatbots. It tells how to limit misinformation by steering chatbots toward high-quality data. #ArtificialIntelligence

Submit a Resource

Do you have a great resource that you’d like to share with the community? Please click here to add it to the resource library. We will continue to highlight relevant resources on this topic.