Artificial intelligence once was generally thought of as a science-fiction technology. That’s changed in recent years. Innovations in machine learning and other such AI technologies have demonstrated that AI can serve many practical purposes.
For example, AI programs are often very well-suited to tasks that require analyzing large amounts of data and identifying patterns efficiently. This has led to the realization that AI can be a helpful diagnostic tool.
AI has the potential to analyze large sets of data to identify how various symptoms tend to be indicative of certain conditions. An AI program can therefore analyze the data and charts for an individual patient and diagnose their health issue accordingly.
This isn’t merely theoretical. Early research indicates that AI tools not only diagnose conditions as accurately as human physicians do — they’re even more accurate.
This actually makes sense when considered in greater detail. Factors such as distraction, fatigue, and basic human error can interfere with a physician’s ability to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
AI isn’t prone to human error (although some would argue it may be if human error influenced an AI’s programming). AI doesn’t get tired or become distracted. An AI program won’t fail to accurately read a patient’s chart because it’s reached the end of a long work shift and its “mind” isn’t as sharp as it was at the start of the day. An AI can perform as reliably as it always does regardless of external factors. This allows it to consistently deliver accurate results.
Although initial findings regarding AI’s role in diagnosing illness and injury are promising, we must remember that this technology is still quite new. Much more research will need to be conducted to determine the extent to which AI will have a positive or negative impact on diagnostic accuracy.
It’s certainly good news for patients if AI does guard against misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis. Research currently indicates that approximately 12 million people in the United States are the victims of misdiagnosis every year. When patients don’t receive accurate diagnoses, they won’t receive the treatment they need.
At the very least, this could allow a patient to experience unpleasant symptoms for longer than would be necessary had they received the needed treatment in a timely manner. Unfortunately, in many instances, misdiagnosis prevents patients from receiving effective treatment until it’s too late to save their lives.
Hopefully, the rise of new AI tools will ensure this doesn’t happen as frequently as it currently does in our country. In the meantime, though, patients should be familiar with their legal rights if they ever do suffer as a result of misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.
Has this happened to you or a loved one in the Honolulu area? If so, review your case with a Honolulu medical malpractice attorney at Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli & Pratt. You may be eligible to recover financial compensation for your medical bills and other such losses resulting from an improper diagnosis. Learn more about your options by contacting us online or calling us at 866-377-3676.