Emerging technologies help us improve genetic literacy faster than ever without sacrificing accuracy.
Our approach has evolved with technology so we can help agencies best serve their users. For example, we’ve been working with GARD for over 10 years to support their data and make it more accessible to both scientists and the public. We started by supporting the overhaul of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) IT systems to increase capacity and better manage and track data for GARD. Now, we’re working with them to pilot a generative AI tool to create patient-friendly summaries about rare and genetic diseases, using AI to translate complex medical literature into plain language, and collaborating with NLM to make complex science and health information in research articles more understandable to a general audience and for use in machine learning models.
These tools help us move faster than ever without sacrificing accuracy, letting us update and develop plain language information quickly, increasing the number of quality patient-education materials, expediting the availability of resources, and reducing the effort to maintain such a large library. In addition to using these technological tools to quickly create high-quality, plain language genetic materials for the public, they can be used to benefit research. Human-aided natural language processing can also be applied to create a high-quality dataset that can be used by the public as a reference, and by scientists to train their own deep learning algorithms.
Looking ahead with emerging technologies
Federal agencies can harness data science to develop materials to enhance genetic literacy, which is needed now more than ever. Even beyond text-based information sheets about genetics and related concepts, AI can be used in genetics-learning games to make lessons more engaging. It can translate materials into different languages or make them more accessible in a variety of ways for people with different learning needs. Perhaps, when the technologies are honed, AI might power an intake chatbot or a virtual genetic counselor able to answer patients’ individual questions in real time.
In addition to powering innovation, AI can help government agencies become more efficient. When technology is applied in safe and responsible ways to the mission, agencies can save time and maximize resources without compromising on the quality or accuracy of health information.
Empowering patients to make more informed health decisions is the ultimate outcome of integrating cutting-edge technologies with specialized knowledge in public health and genetics.