via Wall Street Journal
Thomas McGinn, chairman of medicine at a major New York hospital system, is betting he can predict if a patient has strep, pneumonia or other ailments not by ordering traditional lab tests or imaging scans, but by calculating probabilities with a software program.
Dr. McGinn believes using technology to help diagnose and treat patients can reduce the large number of unnecessary tests doctors order and antibiotics they prescribe by ruling out certain diseases. It also could expedite the appropriate care for patients by giving doctors grounds to treat them before lab tests can confirm a diagnosis.
The predictive tool, which pops up on the screen of electronic medical records, prompts the doctor to answer a short series of questions about the patient’s condition. Based on that information, a calculator predicts the probability that the person has the suspected ailment. It may also recommend a course of action.