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Practice tip of the week: The evolution of symptom checkers


Your weekly dose of wisdom from the Physicians Practice experts.

With all the useful information available on Physicians Practice, it is easy to become overwhelmed.

With this in mind, the tip of the week is a chance to reflect on some of the wisdom found all across the site. In a December 2021 article The evolution of symptom checkers, Irving Loh, MD, FACC, FAHA, FCCP, FACP, Chief Medical Officer Infermedica writes the following:

The earliest automated symptom checkers used cumbersome and often inaccurate decision tree models that took excessive time asking irrelevant and redundant questions.

Over the last several years, the most competitive symptom checkers have begun to use some form of artificial intelligence to enhance their performance — i.e. make more accurate diagnoses and a more efficient user experience for patients and providers. As specific types of AI models like adversarial, convolutional, recurrent and transformer-based neural networks continue to progress, AI will increasingly play a role in enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of diagnostic technology.

Although AI-powered symptom checkers will never fully replace physicians, healthcare technologists will (and should) continue to integrate these tools into the patient journey. This, along with an increasing acceptance of digital healthcare, has resulted in a growing number of EHR, patient engagement, and data companies attempting to create comprehensive, accurate, and easy-to-use symptom checkers.

Click here to read the rest of the article and be sure to check back next week for another Tip of the Week!

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