Study shows MD diagnosis more accurate than Google, for now

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Seems Google doesn’t diagnose quite folks as well as human doctors do… yet. Clearly, the doctors in this article are clinging to the hope that they’ll still be relevant in a few years.

Via Huff Po:

Doctors also got it right more often for the more serious conditions and the more uncommon diagnoses, while computer algorithms were better at spotting less serious conditions and more common diagnoses, according to the results published in a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“In medical school, we are taught to consider broad differential diagnoses that include rare conditions, and to consider life-threatening diagnoses,” said Dr. Andrew M. Fine of Boston Children’s Hospital, who was not part of the new study. “National board exams also assess our abilities to recognize rare and ‘can’t miss’ diagnoses, so perhaps the clinicians have been conditioned to look for these diagnoses,” he said.

“Physicians do get it wrong 10 to 15 percent of the time, so maybe if computers were augmenting them the outcome would be better,” Mehrotra said.

“In a real-world setting, I could envision MD plus algorithm vs MD alone,” Fine told Reuters Health by email. “The algorithms will rely on a clinician to input physical exam findings in a real-world setting, and so the computer algorithm alone could not go head to head with a clinician.”

I’m fairly certain Google isn’t as good at wringing money out of insurance agencies, so MD programs still have something going for them.

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