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Machine learning: 3 ways to tell hype from reliable research

Machine learning: 3 ways to tell hype from reliable research

Augmented intelligence () and related branches—such as and —offer lots of promise for health care, but how can physicians and other health professionals distinguish between clinically safe and useful innovations and hot air?

SwissCognitiveAugmented intelligence () and related branches—such as and —offer lots of promise for health care, but how can physicians and other health professionals distinguish between clinically safe and useful innovations and hot air?

That question is at the heart of a recent JAMA Pediatrics editorial on , a branch of , that outlines some rules of thumb to help doctors tell the difference between hype and reliable research on in medicine.

New health care policy adopted at the 2019 AMA Annual Meeting provides that should advance the quadruple aim—meaning that it “should enhance the patient experience of care and outcomes, improve population health, reduce overall costs for the health care system while increasing value, and support the professional satisfaction of physicians and the health care team.” The AMA House of Delegates also adopted policy on the use of in medical education and physician training.

This built on the foundation of the AMA’s initial policies adopted last year that emphasized that the perspective of physicians needed to be heard as the technology continues to develop.

Machine learning, a form of , has a learner algorithm that analyzes data and automates analytical model building. This allows the system to “learn,” identify patterns and make decisions “with minimal human intervention,” says the editorial written by Joseph Zorc, MD, with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; James Chamberlain, MD, with George Washington University School of Medicine; and Lalit Bajaj, MD, with Children’s Hospital of Colorado.

When it comes to assessing the validity of studies reporting the latest findings on , there are three elements to look for, the physicians write.

The validity of a study’s methods according to standard published references. For this, the authors recommend consulting the “Users’ Guide to the Medical Literature XXII: How to use articles about clinical decision rules,” published in JAMA. Another choice is the “Transparent Reporting of a Multivariable Prediction Model for Individual Prognosis or Diagnosis (TRIPOD)” guidelines published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“These guides include ensuring that all important predictors are included in an unbiased fashion in a population representing a wide spectrum of disease severity and that outcomes are assessed fully and independently,” the editorial says. “The methods need to provide full details on how the model was developed and allow the reader to assess how the decision is being made and reproduce it as much as possible.”[…]

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