The Potential for Computers in Medicine

Medicine is clearly behind in the utilization of the recent technological innovation around the world. Many doctors are resistant to the integration of artificial intelligence into the medical field, possible for the creeping fear that computers will eventually replace them in their respective fields. Despite this, the possibility for computers to progress the field is simply undeniable. An illuminating study out of the United Kingdom has recently underlined this truth.

The new studies pitted the accuracy of doctors and computers against each other regarding the prediction of cardiovascular disease in patients. Doctors employed the standard ACC/AHA predictor to determine, from 2005 electronic medical records, whether 378,256 patients would experience a heart problem within the next ten years. The four different computed algorithms for risk of heart disease used 75% of the records to train themselves in the art of prediction, and then made predictions for the remaining 25% of the data.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of adult Americans today

Afterwards, the predictions of the doctors and the artificial intelligence were checked using the 2015 medical data for the patients in the system. The results were striking. Not one, but all of the artificial intelligence algorithms performed significantly better than doctors at predicting future cardiovascular disease.

The future of the medical field lies in the hands of the technology we have created

The widespread medical application of successful computerized programs, such as the one tested in the study, has the potential to save many lives. Many seem inexplicably resistant to the change toward algorithms, but the increasingly technologically-dependent society we live in deserves a medical system that applies this technology to its maximum benefit. The path forward to medical breakthroughs lies within technology, and its implementation is both inevitable and necessary. When it comes to saving human lives, the right option is to evolve with the times.


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