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NeuroLogica Blog: Computer-Assisted Diagnosis

ipads_with_ddx_screens_small.jpgFollowing this week's Scientific American article about Open APIs, a doctor blogger (NeuroLogicaBlog) gave his take on health IT and the future of healthcare.

Under a watchful eye of the healthcare debate in American politics, Dr. Novella points to the rising cost of healthcare and looks at what can be changed. He calls out medical decision-making and views an approach that combines two types of thinking - intuitive and analytical.

"To give you an example of how powerful the analytical approach can be, when coupled with large amounts of data, play with the Akinator. With a surprisingly few questions, some of which may seem arbitrary, this computer algorithm can guess just about any character you are thinking of. It essentially takes an analytical approach to 20 questions, and is better than any human.

Now imagine playing this game except for diseases.

There are applications already in existence, DXplain, VisualDx and Isabel. They work, and studies have shown they improve diagnostic accuracy for rare or obscure diseases. For everyday common diseases, there is less room for improvement. However, even in those situations an expert system may optimize treatment, by, for example, recommending the optimal medication."

Read his full blog called Computer Assisted Diagnosis and learn more about Dr. Steven Novella here.

About VisualDx

VisualDx is an award-winning diagnostic clinical decision support system that has become the standard electronic resource at more than half of U.S. medical schools and more than 1,500 hospitals and institutions nationwide.  VisualDx combines clinical search with the world's best medical image library, plus medical knowledge from experts to help with diagnosis, treatment, self-education, and patient communication. Expanding to provide diagnostic decision support across General Medicine, the new VisualDx brings increased speed and accuracy to the art of diagnosis. Learn more at