Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

AI Could Lead to Robotic Docs in Key Roles

A venture capitalist predicted two years ago that algorithms and AI will replace 80% of what doctors do. Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures issued a report in the fall of 2016. Now some of his predictions are coming to pass, according to writer Bob Herman in Axios magazine. He believes that machines will more accurately diagnose disease, reduce deadly medical errors and allow doctors to focus on difficult cases.

Algorithms can already diagnose diseases from imaging scans better than human radiologists. Computers potentially could run theradiology specialty.

For the past several years, computers have played a key role in medical care. Most doctors log medical visit results into computer programs. They go online to get information on which drugs to prescribe. Determining which drugs will interact with other drugs is done at the speed of a computer.

In addition, hospitals are using surgical robotic assistants worldwide. This has lowered costs and increased accuracy.

“AI physicians with human assist like a nurse could do as much as any primary care physician within a decade,” Khosla said.

For human doctors, this could mean more focus on emotional support and discerning what patients need or want.