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Artificial intelligence may predict heart disease

The American Heart Association reports that approximately 6 million Americans have heart failure each year, but some researchers may have developed a method for early detection of the condition. With the research showing that artificial intelligence may diagnose heart disease up to nine months earlier than a physician is able to do so, people in New York and throughout the country might soon have their lives saved by computers.

Heart disease can be difficult to detect, and as a result, some people only learn that they have it after a heart attack. Researchers at California-based Sutter Health teamed up with others at the Georgia Institute of Technology to explore how computers could be taught to predict heart disease from analyzing electronic medical records. Because the task requires computers to make complex interpretations from varied data such as summaries of doctor visits or prescription records, it was necessary to use a method known as deep learning in which the computer does not need a human to tell it how to evaluate every factor.

Researchers say that the same model can be used to diagnose other illnesses and conditions as well. With heart disease, the early diagnosis may allow physicians to prescribe medication and suggest lifestyle changes that could be life-saving. Researchers may turn their attention next to sepsis, an infection that frequently is not detected until it is too late for treatment.

In addition to heart disease and sepsis, another condition that may go undiagnosed with deadly results is cancer. In some cases, this might be due to a doctor misreading a mammogram or other tests or failing to recognize symptoms. If this occurs, a patient who is harmed may want to have the assistance of medical malpractice counsel in seeking damages.

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