Many technology companies are working on artificial intelligence systems that can analyze medical data to help diagnose or treat health problems. Such systems raise the question of whether this kind of technology can perform as well as a human doctor.
A new study from MIT computer scientists suggests that human doctors provide a dimension that, as yet, artificial intelligence does not. By analyzing doctors’ written notes on intensive-care-unit patients, the researchers found that the doctors’ “gut feelings” about a particular patient’s condition played a significant role in determining how many tests they ordered for the patient.
“There’s something about a doctor’s experience, and their years of training and practice, that allows them to know in a more comprehensive sense, beyond just the list of symptoms, whether you’re doing well or you’re not,” says Mohammad Ghassemi, a research affiliate at MIT’s Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). “They’re tapping into something that the machine may not be seeing.”