Unintended Consequences of Machine Learning in Medicine

by Federico Cabitza, Raffaele Rasoini, Gian Franco Gensini
JAMA. Published online July 20, 2017

2 pp. 49 kB – Free registration required

In health care, global interest in the potential of machine learning has increased; for example, a deep learning algorithm has shown high accuracy in detecting diabetic retinopathy. There have been suggestions that machine learning will drive changes in health care within a few years, specifically in medical disciplines that require more accurate prognostic models (eg, oncology) and those based on pattern recognition (eg, radiology and pathology).However, comparative studies on the effectiveness of machine learning–based decision support systems (ML-DSS) in medicine are lacking, especially regarding the effects on health outcomes. Moreover, the introduction of new technologies in health care has not always been straightforward or without unintended and adverse effects. In this Viewpoint the authors consider the potential unintended consequences that may result from the application of ML-DSS in clinical practice.

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