Technology: How AI Can Improve Diagnostics (GAO)

Each year, medical diagnosis errors affect the health of millions of Americans and cost billions of dollars. Machine learning technologies can help identify hidden or complex patterns in diagnostic data to detect diseases earlier and improve treatments.

Several machine learning (ML) technologies are available in the U.S. to assist with the diagnostic process. The resulting benefits include earlier detection of diseases; more consistent analysis of medical data; and increased access to care, particularly for underserved populations. GAO identified a variety of ML-based technologies for five selected diseases

  • Certain cancers,
  • Diabetic retinopathy,
  • Alzheimer’s disease,
  • Heart disease,
  • COVID-19

Most technologies relying on data from imaging such as x-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, these ML technologies have generally not been widely adopted.

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