How is the medical profession using AI systems?

Author's Note

When I was growing up, I got frequent bronchial infections, and when my mom took me to the doctor, I was diagnosed with a long list of allergies to everything from pollen to chocolate to tomato sauce. As a result, I had to take daily doses of decongestants, and go back to the doctor's office every two weeks for immunotherapy injections. The shots didn't seem to do much good, and the decongestants gave me insomnia that left we walking around in a daze during the day. When I reached my mid-teens, I started running 3 or 4 miles every day and working out with weights, and as I got stronger and fitter, to my surprise, the symptoms gradually vanished. When I took another allergy test as an adult, nothing at all showed up. I don't know if I simply outgrew the allergies or my diagnosis was wrong. But I can't help but wonder whether an AI system might have come up with a more accurate diagnosis and/or a more effective treatment had such technology existed in the mid-1960s.

Related Articles


  • De la Torre, Christopher. "The AI Doctor Is Ready To See You." Singularity Hub. May 10, 2010. (Sep. 10, 2012)
  • Leonhardt, David. "Why Doctors So Often Get It Wrong." The New York Times. Feb. 22, 2006. (Sep. 10, 2012)
  • Lucas-Fehm, Dr. Lynn. "Watson: Extreme Evidence Based Medicine." Oct. 13, 2011. (Sept. 10, 2012)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Artificial Intelligence Helps Diagnose Cardiac Infections." Sept. 12, 2009. (Sept. 11, 2012)
  • Patel, Vimla L. etal. "The Coming of Age of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine." Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. May 2009. (Sept. 11, 2012)
  • PRWeb. "The National Library of Medicine Explores Artificial Intelligence Using Two-Hundred Thousand Real Patient Questions from" Jan. 5, 2012. (Sep. 11, 2012)