Giving Compass’ Take:
• Researchers report about an algorithm that can predict whether a given blood test will come back “normal” could help cut needless medical tests.
• Practitioners still need to understand AI better and know where implementation will work, so there’s a lot of learning left to be done. How can nonprofits in the space help provide the resources to assist?
Being thorough in medicine is a must—but doctors concerned about over-testing are raising a new question: Is it possible to be too thorough? Jonathan Chen, assistant professor of medicine at Stanford University, says the answer is yes, particularly in the context of diagnostic blood testing.
Blood testing is a cornerstone of diagnostic medicine, but there’s an increasing recognition that too much blood testing—such as repeated tests—yields diminishing results. Not only do the results of many repeat-blood tests remain unchanged, administering the same test over and over can have detrimental effects on patients.
“The financial downsides of unnecessary testing are often the most obvious, but there are a lot of other drawbacks, namely, the burden it can have on the patients themselves,” says Jason Hom, clinical assistant professor of medicine. “Patients in the hospital sometimes have to wake up at all hours of the morning to take these tests, making them delirious. And sometimes these tests are done so often the patients become anemic.”
Read the full article about artificial intelligence and blood tests by Hanae Armitage at Futurity.
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