Getting the Best out of Algorithms in Health Care

Getting the Best out of Algorithms in Health Care

The same basic technology that can predict what movie you might want to watch, what song you might want to listen to, or what item you might want to buy online, can also predict the onset of diseases, forecast costs of care, and recommend treatment options for your doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Not a day goes by where we don’t read about a new study, product, or application of AI/ML to aid decision-making in health care settings, such as predicting pneumonia in the emergency department, predicting inpatient mortality, and assisting clinicians in diagnosing hip fractures, just to name a few. In order to motivate deeper discussion about the appropriate use of these new and evolving technologies, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has been convening stakeholders working with AI/ML technologies through public events such as our AI showcase, a Health Information Technology Advisory Committee hearing on algorithmic bias, and session on equity and algorithms at our annual meeting. This is the first in a series of blog posts where we’ll discuss the current and future state of algorithms and emerging technologies used to aid decision-making in health care.

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