Artificial Intelligence in Medical Practice: The Question to the Answer?

D. Douglas Miller, Eric W. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

418 Scopus citations


Computer science advances and ultra-fast computing speeds find artificial intelligence (AI) broadly benefitting modern society—forecasting weather, recognizing faces, detecting fraud, and deciphering genomics. AI's future role in medical practice remains an unanswered question. Machines (computers) learn to detect patterns not decipherable using biostatistics by processing massive datasets (big data) through layered mathematical models (algorithms). Correcting algorithm mistakes (training) adds to AI predictive model confidence. AI is being successfully applied for image analysis in radiology, pathology, and dermatology, with diagnostic speed exceeding, and accuracy paralleling, medical experts. While diagnostic confidence never reaches 100%, combining machines plus physicians reliably enhances system performance. Cognitive programs are impacting medical practice by applying natural language processing to read the rapidly expanding scientific literature and collate years of diverse electronic medical records. In this and other ways, AI may optimize the care trajectory of chronic disease patients, suggest precision therapies for complex illnesses, reduce medical errors, and improve subject enrollment into clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Big data
  • Chronic disease
  • Deep learning
  • Electronic medical record
  • Machine learning
  • Medical imaging
  • Natural language processing
  • Neural networks
  • Precision medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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