Will the Computer Replace the Urgent Care Physician?

Does every medical student wonder if someone could simply put all the symptoms of a patient into a computer and let the computer generate the most likely diagnosis? Could the computer even use artificial intelligence and become a better and better diagnostician. Well that future may be a somewhat distant dream, but EasyDiagnosis.com is a website that may be offers some promise to help a patient discover some diagnostic alternatives for their sympton cluster and give the patient a rough statistical probability for each suggested differential diagnosis.

EasyDiagnosis.com allows patients to input age and sex and then guides them through a list of historical information to help determine the chances of specific diagnoses. The sample template on their website was for back pain. I answered the questions to indicate (among other items) I was a fifty-year-old male and that I was suffering sciatica and weight loss. The program determined my diagnostic probabilities as:

  • 73% Tumor
  • 17% Spinal Stenosis
  • 9.4% Herniated Lumbosacral Disc
  • 0.1% Chronic Low Back Syndrome
  • 0.1% Osteoporosis
  • 0.1% Osteomyelitis
  • 0.1% Depression
  • 0.1% Chronic Arthritis
  • 0.1% Acute Lumbar Strain
  • 0.1% Miscellaneous

Not really that bad. It’s not quite ready to replace the physician, but it may help patients find the correct care for their medical problem. Allowing programs like this to interact with patients and physicians is definitely the future of medicine, allowing patient to input their symptoms and triage themselves in the waiting room of the urgent care center. Certain symptom constellations could even be used to expedite care of patients who need it. Allowing patients to do this from home may even allow patients to be directed to an urgent care center or to a hospital emergency department. Allowing computers to improve the care of patients in the urgent care center is the goal of Practice Velocity Software Solutions, and Practice Velocity will continue to bring innovative computer solutions to improve the efficiency and care of your urgent care center.
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This resource was first published prior to the 2019 merger between DocuTAP and Practice Velocity. The content reflects our legacy brands.