The Doctor of the Future… uses SimulConsult

Fast Company has a particularly good article (The Doctor of the Future) on how physicians are innovating to reduce costs, improve quality and broaden access.

SimulConsult is described in some depth on page 4

Dr. Michael Segal, 54, a renowned pediatric neurologist in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, has been working on [rare disease diagnosis] for 20 years. The result: SimulConsult, a sophisticated online crowd-sourcing tool for identifying neurological disorders that demonstrates the potential of the Web to transform the way all kinds of diseases are diagnosed. Doctors enter a patient’s symptoms and test results, and the software produces likely diagnoses and the probability for each…

Segal recognized the need for such a tool as a resident in the 1980s, when he spent hours poring through books and looking at every possible unusual disease for one particularly perplexing patient. “The problem is that textbooks are arranged so if you know the disease, they tell you the symptoms or lab results,” he says. “But patients come to us in the opposite way, with findings that we need to put together in a story to reach a diagnosis.”

I’m quoted describing how it takes a long time for medical innovations to reach the market.

April 15, 2009

One thought on “The Doctor of the Future… uses SimulConsult”

  1. dr skynet: The “doctor of the future” is automated diagnosis that can outperform human. (MYCIN, TREAT, Dias, etc) Why google does not incorporate machine learning actively into the ehr is a mystery (and may explain why a. bosworth left)! Automated diagnostic support will be the defining threshold between EHR vs PHR.

    input/output: data input, lab results, symptoms into a computational framework (usually a bayes net) is the bottleneck not the math. So regardless if you make tally marks in the sand, or use ‘simuConsult’, or use optimization methods like some machine learning, computationally medicine is ‘feasible’ (citation needed), the problems are the aforementioned data entry, and knowledge/text mining of the ~10,000 biomedical research papers that get published each month in each subset of medicine. Thats alot of noise! (biomed research is becoming automated as well- http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/22396/ )

    future of medicine: the future of medicine really will be managed by dr skynet (i hope she is hot, hehe). Medical reasoning that is not based on in silico analytics will be the equivalent of quackery (the human mind is really not equipped to deal with statistical information).

    dr john connor: the role of humans in the near future of medicine will be as proceduralists …the caveat here being that video image processing algorithms will automate monitoring of quality control: such as a suture being performed correctly, that a provider shows empathy and caring wrong medication is not given, etc. (this is of course until the rise of dr. roomba)

    how i met your mother: dr skynet + dr roomba = friend

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