Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Artificial Intelligence

The AI bot will see you now: how technology is changing the doctor-patient relationship

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 28 March 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q711
  1. Gareth Iacobucci, assistant news editor
  1. The BMJ
  1. giacobucci{at}

With advancements such as artificial intelligence being hailed as the solution to healthcare workforce challenges and the mismatch between demand and supply, Gareth Iacobucci reports on how interactions between doctors and patients are changing

At the Nuffield Trust’s 2024 summit in early March The BMJ hosted a panel discussion, at which experts discussed what the increasing reliance on and use of tools such as artificial intelligence (AI) means for the relationship between clinicians and patients.

The panellists (chair: Kamran Abbasi, editor in chief, The BMJ)

  • Rebecca Rosen: GP in southeast London, senior fellow at the Nuffield Trust, and author of a recent BMJ opinion piece on this topic1

  • Neil Sebire, professor of paediatric and development pathology and chief research information officer at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London

  • Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association and chair of the Richmond Group, a coalition of 12 national health and care charities advocating for more policy attention on multimorbidity

  • Daniel Elkeles, chief executive officer of the London Ambulance Service

What’s the reality of AI’s use in UK primary care?

The panellist Rebecca Rosen, a GP and senior fellow at the Nuffield Trust, says that AI has great promise in general practice as a digital triage tool, where she says that it’s increasingly being used to “filter patients’ needs at the front door.” In terms of diagnosing, however, she says that technology isn’t yet sophisticated enough to capture “the nuanced, complicated world of general practice with undifferentiated illness and a mix of physical and psychological and social.”

Her fellow panellist Juliet Bouverie, chief executive of the Stroke Association, says that while AI is “underdeveloped” in primary care, some progressive GPs are using population health data and the application of AI to segment and understand which patients have the most complex needs. She says that some GPs are then able to target longer review meetings with those patients, such as …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription