March 5, 2019 | USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy

"Will robots replace doctors?" Bob Kocher and Zeke Emanuel

A 2017 study out of the Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT showed that an artificial intelligence (AI) system was equal or better than radiologists at reading mammograms for high risk cancer lesions needing surgery. A year earlier, and reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association, Google showed that computers are similar to ophthalmologists at examining retinal images of diabetics.  And recently, computer-controlled robots performed intestinal surgery successfully on a pig. While the robot took longer than a human, its sutures were much better—more precise and uniform with fewer chances for breakage, leakage, and infection. Tech boosters believe that AI will lead to more evidence-based care, more personalized care, and fewer errors.

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