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Art Papier, M.D., FAAD and Steve Xu, M.D., FAAD (NOVEMBER 7, 2019)
It's nearly impossible to get through a day without encountering augmented intelligence (AI). We have come to expect the convenience of email filters and smart replies, websites that link job candidates to job openings, predictive online searches, fraud prevention by financial institutions, and social media that detects when someone might harm themselves.1 Over time we have come to accept these small daily interactions with AI, but when it comes to AI in medicine, many have expressed concern that doctors' training, knowledge and judgment will simply be replaced by a cold and calculating AI. Thankfully, today's AI advances are not aimed at replacing doctors at all, but rather they team up with doctors to enhance decision-making and increase the accuracy of their diagnoses.
It's not physician vs. machine
No doctor can memorize everything, but patients expect quick, accurate diagnoses, the most appropriate tests to be ordered, and safe, effective therapies to be used. Gathering patient data and synthesizing it into an excellent differential diagnosis with the typical time constraints that every doctor faces can be a challenge. Using AI-powered decision support in combination with physician knowledge can experience is more powerful than the physician relying on memory alone to make a diagnosis.
For this month's column, I want to highlight a company (VisualDx) and innovator, Art Papier, M.D., FAAD, of whom I am a huge fan. I remember using VisualDx as a medical student - and essentially, I found it to be the best resource for helping me generate dermatological differentials. This is true to this day when I see patients and get stumped. What I like most about what VisualDx is doing in dermatology is that they are using AI/ML to augment physician decision-making, not replacing it.
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 www.visualdx.com.