The healthcare industry is ripe for using content marketing to attract consumers to their websites. Recent studies indicate that 77% of consumers use search engines to investigate healthcare alternatives, and 7% of the daily searches on Google are health-related.
So, whether you’re in a physician’s office or a hospital setting, providing answers to consumers on health-related topics is critical to reaching those individuals who could easily become patients.
It’s also essential that the healthcare content you publish is accurate, easy to understand, and makes the readers feel that you care about them as individuals. Many expert healthcare content writers can produce that type of content.
AI-generated writing may be an inexpensive and quick way to produce content, but it has limitations that are particularly concerning for you if your business is in the healthcare industry.
How Does an AI Content Generator Work?
Before you decide to use an AI content generator, it’s essential to know how it works. An AI content generator, like ChatGPT, is a software program that uses natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG) programs.
When you provide the generator with information, such as the title of a blog post and some of the subtopics you want to cover, the generator breaks that data down into separate words and then predicts the next word or phrase. It then analyzes that data to predict the next word or phrase, and the process continues.
The generator uses its NLP and NLG programs to create grammatically correct content. It also uses its training, which consists of a large language model that analyzes a text dataset, such as collections of books, articles appearing on the internet, and more. The results depend on the training the generator received, the size of the data set it can access, and the accuracy of the NLP and NLG programs in creating text that matches the desired tone of the writing.
How Does an AI Content Generator Compare to Professional Healthcare Content Writers?
It’s easy to understand how freelance healthcare writers work. They start with the healthcare industry knowledge they have developed over time. They also use interviews from subject matter experts (SMEs) and other relevant, vetted, and most recent research within the industry to develop sources.
Then, expert healthcare writers will look at other content their client publishes on their website to develop a sense of how the client talks to their readers. Writing for voice and tone is essential when speaking to patients or other businesses within the healthcare industry.
Healthcare content writers will then compile the information they need for the project and take the time to ensure that they can cite reliable sources or resolve any conflicting information. Because these writers are also occasionally healthcare patients, they can write in a way your readers can relate to.
In an industry where a large amount of misinformation is generated every day, it’s easy to see how using AI to develop medical content writing can result in spreading misinformation. For example, a national poll conducted in 2022 shows that 44% of physicians reported that more than half of the information available about COVID-19 isn’t accurate.
In addition, more than 66% of physicians indicated that misinformation about topics including weight loss, dietary supplements, mental health, and vaccines, in general, is a problem. While freelance healthcare writers can analyze a resource to identify bias, it’s virtually impossible for an AI content generator to do the same. Therefore, AI content generators can spread stereotypes, bias, and exclusionary language because the algorithms will reproduce the patterns found in their text database.
Pros and Cons of AI-Generated Content
Certainly, AI-generated content has its advantages and disadvantages. And there are areas where AI content generators can be helpful in the healthcare industry.
Speed. AI content generators can create content much faster than healthcare content writers. After you enter content prompts, the AI content generator can create content in moments. If you need a quick turnaround for a large number of social media posts, for example, an AI content generator will work at lightning speed to help you fill a social media content calendar.
Cost Savings. Using an AI content generator is much less expensive than paying experienced healthcare content writers. You can use some content generators at no charge, while others require a monthly or annual subscription fee.
Search Engine Rankings. AI content generators can repeat identified keywords in the content to help you rank better in search engine results. But, if the keyword placement is too mechanical, the search engines will penalize the content.
The Quality of the Writing. Because AI content generators depend on data and algorithms, the content utilizes “facts” from its source data. If a topic is easily defined, the generated content should be factual. But, if a topic has gray areas, the generator won’t be able to draw subjective conclusions.
In addition, if you give a generator the keywords you need to target, it may well start every paragraph with the keyword phrase. That approach comes across as very stilted and repetitive to a human audience.
Plagiarism Concerns. Since an AI generator uses a database of existing content, it is possible that it could produce content that is too close to a published source. Not only could that create legal problems for your website, but the search engines will not be impressed. Google has guidelines about “stitching and combining” content, and AI generators are more likely to violate those guidelines.
Algorithms Could Devalue Content in Search Engines. For example, Google has published guidance about AI-generated content. Google ranks content for what it calls EEAT: expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Writing based on an algorithm may not meet those criteria. For example, Google notes explicitly that where the quality of the content is exceptionally important, as in the healthcare field, their ranking systems would put even more focus on reliability signals. Most AI content generators can’t respond to that requirement.
Lack of Originality and Personalization. An AI content generator can’t come up with original thoughts; it can only present content that already exists.
In addition, a generator doesn’t have the emotions to create a story, which is an integral part of content creation. To put originality into a piece of content, the writer needs self-awareness, which generators don’t have. And a generator can’t sympathize or empathize with a target audience in the same way a human being can.
Human Editors are Still Required. If you do use AI for content generation, talented freelance healthcare writers will still be needed to review the content and make sure that it meets the quality, originality, and SEO requirements that you need to be successful with your content marketing.
How Can the Healthcare Industry Use AI Generators?
Early indications are that the healthcare industry may use AI generators integrated into existing clinical content writing systems. For example, use cases such as simplifying a notice of explanation of benefits (EOB) and prior authorization requests could be achieved by using AI content generators.
Physicians could also use AI prompts to help them interpret unusual medical cases or edit a patient conversation into a standard format. Microsoft and Epic, the largest hospital Electronic Health Record provider in the U.S., recently worked together to provide AI-generated content in an EHR system. The system can now automatically create drafts of replies to patient messages.
So, it seems the industry is going toward integrating AI-generated content software into existing systems. With that type of integration, generative AI could summarize a patient’s medical history and translate patient materials into different languages.
But, even with that approach, the medical community must be aware of the risks. When you don’t know how AI-generated content comes up with its conclusions — and you know that it could make mistakes — you’ll need to be very careful with how the technology is used in your organization.
Use Expert Writers to Deliver Expert Content
It’s clear that AI content generators will impact the healthcare industry, which could be beneficial in some areas. But, the generators need to be used with discretion. They shouldn’t be used in place of expert healthcare content writers, but they may work well when integrated with existing healthcare systems that need to do clinical content writing.
For all other types of healthcare writing, work with talented freelance healthcare professionals who can develop original, timely content marketing materials tol help you to grow your business.
Whether you need articles and blog posts written based on deep industry research, eBooks, white papers, case studies, or email campaigns, PowerPublish has the market cornered on elite freelance experts. Schedule a demo to discover what PowerPublish can do for you!