January 13, 2010

Reality Checkup: Medical Artificial Intelligence Still a Hard Sell in the Clinic

By Kelley Luckstein

When a clogged artery landed Peter Szolovits in the hospital for a coronary bypass operation in mid-October, he noticed a few incongruities other patients might not have. Machines that performed intertwined functions.. As head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Clinical Decision Making Group, which works to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to medicine, Szolovits knew that intelligent systems could optimize care by working together better to eliminate errors as well as avoid repetition of medical tests…


One program that helps doctors make more accurate diagnoses was recently tested in a study conducted by investigators from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. They entered lab test results and vital signs from 189 patients to train and test a program to assess whether subjects had a heart infection known as endocarditis


The network learned to correlate each patient's unique symptoms with a diagnosis. "The network recognizes patterns," says M. Rizwan Sohail, an infectious disease expert at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study, presented at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco in September.



Scientific American, by Allison Bond, 1/12/10

Tags: Health IT, Infectious Diseases, Innovation (Center of), intelligent systems, optimize care

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