People with unusual symptoms rely on medical professionals to help them determine what is causing their issues. Doctors use their education and experience, along with highly-advanced chemical and imaging tests, when necessary, to determine what medical issues are causing someone’s symptoms. Unfortunately, they don’t always get it right.
Diagnostic mistakes are a major catalyst for medical malpractice claims in the United States, and researchers believe they cause tens of thousands of deaths yearly. Errors related to the diagnosis of cancer can be particularly devastating, as cancer can progress rapidly when doctors fail to diagnose it quickly and accurately.
In recent months, a lot of attention has been paid to the possibility of using artificial intelligence (A.I.) to look for warning signs of cancer. Could A.I. potentially increase the success rates of physicians who are attempting to diagnose those with cancer?
A.I. can potentially spot things humans miss
The process of evaluating someone for cancer involves a lot of detailed review. Medical professionals may spend hours reviewing test results and images, looking for any abnormalities that could indicate someone has cancerous tissue growing in their body. There have been multiple cases in which trained radiologists have looked at someone’s diagnostic scans and determined that there were no immediate signs of cancer, only to have A.I. software identify tiny discrepancies that turned out to be early warning signs of cancer.
There is a lot of debate about whether A.I. might force trained medical professionals out of work and how effective it would be when integrated into mainstream medical practices. Still, there is certainly some reason to hope that A.I. could reduce diagnostic errors for those still in the early stages of cancer.
Mistakes by doctors can be devastating for patients
When medical professionals don’t obtain adequate data or rush to inaccurate conclusions, patients may experience worsening symptoms and a poor prognosis because of those failings on the part of their care provider.
A.I. could potentially close the gap between the theoretically possible diagnostic accuracy with modern technology and the diagnostic success rate doctors maintain. Seeking legal guidance and responding appropriately when a doctor’s errors lead to a worse medical outcome than should have occurred can help medical malpractice victims pursue any compensation they are rightfully owed due to the harm they’ve suffered.