Early and accurate diagnosis is much cheaper for the health system and of course, much more effective for the patient. It may cost x20 to treat a well-developed complaint compared to when first visible.

A key challenge is ‘differential diagnosis’ where similar symptoms may indicate different conditions. Mis-diagnosis is expensive in both finical and in terms of patient outcomes. Initial diagnosis can be wrong and take too long before corrected, for practical as well as human reasons. There is sometimes a tendency to put too much faith in the first physician’s diagnosis leading to a ‘perpetuation error’. This is the most common error in legal cases brought in the US.

The lack of effective diagnostics for many conditions means that in practice the only solution is to put the patient under observation and see how they develop. But this is expensive, especially if it means a hospital bed, a stay overnight and several changes of shift. Each time a shift changes a team of new staff are introduced so increasing the risk for the patient from poor communication.  Improving diagnosis is probably the ‘killer app’ for AI, especially in image analysis and the application of AI to large complex data sets to make predictions and increasingly, prescribe solutions.

Acute clinical healthcare is above all else ‘risk management’ and decision-making. Those that excel in this domain can cope with and enjoy the pressure, but it is often subjective and largely a data desert. Clinicians here are looking for decision-support tools to augment what they do, not replace what they do i.e. lower risk, improve workflow and outcomes, free time for patient and family communication.

This is a review of AIMed Europe 2018, learn more about the leading global event for clinicians in AI in healthcare here.

Author bio

By Brendan Dunphy, CEO at C-BIA Consulting Lclinicians pilots jobs ai artificial intelligence medicine healthcaretd.

Entrepreneur, consultant & social innovator specializing in strategy, innovation and transformations.

CEO of C-BIA Consulting Ltd from February 2018, founder & principal consultant at Dunphy Associates (Nice) since 1997, co-founded online benchmarking provider Max.Net (UK) Ltd. and internet services company Extend Solutions.

Consulting Director at Mobile Market Development (Telco research, Dublin) and former Innovation Lead at Frost & Sullivan Ltd. in Europe (growth research, London).

Former Director of the Accenture (then Anderson Consulting) Centre for Strategic Technology in Sophia Antipolis, France pioneering novel applications of emerging technologies to create new business capabilities, mainly web and mobile.

Co-founder of Africaiq, Trustee of the youth charity the lowdown and Ekhaya Skills Centres in the UK and advisor to Teach the Future Europe in the Netherlands.

Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), member of the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise & Governance (CCEG), the Open Data Institute (ODI) and Research Data Alliance (RDA).