Artificial Intelligence, the Future of Medicine and Medical Education

Luiz Carlos Lobo About the author


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that using algorithms defined by specialists can recognize a problem, or a task to be performed, analyzing data and taking decisions simulating the human being. Decision support systems were developed decades ago but were reemphasized as a consequence of the incredible increase in computer storage and data processing, creating the concept of “big data”. AI is already part of a large number of activities in sectors like commerce, banking, transportation, communication, and administration of human and material resources. The impact of AI in health allows the analysis of data banks such as birth, death, diseases of compulsory declaration, hospitalization of patients and data registered in electronic health records, indicating the prevalence and evolution of diseases, anticipating epidemic outbreaks and proposing preventive measures to be taking by the population. Picture analysis and pattern recognition of radiologic, dermatologic and ophthalmologic images is being now widely used. The processing of medical records is being also done to discuss cases and detect inconsistencies between diagnosis, complementary tests requested, and treatment prescribed. The indication that 32% of medical errors in the USA were due to inadequate time for patient assessment, resulting in less accurate diagnosis, not recognition of a problem, or the urgency of the case, has made urgent a reappraisal of the patient-physician relationship, trying to reserve time in the consultation for the physician hear, discuss the case and orient the patient. The use of natural language in the registration of patient data in electronic medical records, employment of computers and internet to communicate with patients, use of data collected in wearable devices, telemedicine, multi-professional team work in the delivery of health care, are proposals to optimize the medical attention to patients. The redefinition of medical practice will result, consequently, in the reform of the medical graduation. The American Medical Association established in 2013 a medical school consortium (“the work of the AMA accelerating change in medical education”) to foster these curricular changes needed to graduate physicians able to cope with innovation and artificial intelligence. The author makes considerations on medical graduation, proposing a core curriculum that will provide the competencies of a general practitioner, which will be complemented by flexible courses to take into consideration students’ orientations.

artificial Intelligence; physician-patient relationship; use of technologies; pattern recognition; decision support systems; multiprofessional teams; medical practice; medical education; flexible learning

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