Predicting readmissions, mortality, other events
While machine learning has had mixed results in predicting future clinical events, this is likely to change as data integrity and algorithms improve. Best-of-breed technology will probably use both clinical and machine learning tools for predictive purposes in the future.
In 2015, I had the privilege of meeting, cofounder of SUN Microsystems and venture capitalist, who predicts that computers will largely supplant physicians in the future, at least in domains relying on access to data. As he puts it, “the core functions necessary for complex diagnoses, treatments, and monitoring will be driven by machine judgment instead of human judgment.”4
While the benefits of technology, especially in health care, are often oversold, I believe AI and related technologies will some day play a large role alongside physicians in the care of patients. However, for AI to deliver, we must first figure out how to collect and organize health care data so that computers are able to ingest, digest and use it in a purposeful way.
Note: Dr. Whitcomb is founder and advisor to Zato Health, which uses natural language processing and discovery technology in health care.
He is chief medical officer at Remedy Partners in Darien, Conn., and a cofounder and past president of SHM.
1. Zimmer, Ben. Is It Time to Welcome Our New Computer Overlords?. The Atlantic.. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
2. Sanders, Dale. The MD Anderson / IBM Watson Announcement: What does it mean for machine learning in healthcare? Webinar.. Accessed 23 Apr 2017.
3. Baum, Stephanie. Venrock survey predicts a flight to quality for digital health investments. MedCity News. 12 Apr 2017.. Accessed 22 Apr 2017.
4. Khosla, Vinod. The Reinvention Of Medicine: Dr. Algorithm V0-7 And Beyond. TechCrunch. 22 Sept 2014.. Accessed 22 Apr 2017.