August 11, 2017


Can a Crowdsourced AI Medical Diagnosis App Outperform Your Doctor? : The Human Dx platform aims to improve the accuracy of individual physicians (Jeremy Hsu on August 11, 2017, Scientific American)

Human Dx advocates the use of machine learning--a popular AI technique that automatically learns from classifying patterns in data--to crowdsource and build on the best medical knowledge from thousands of physicians across 70 countries. Physicians at several major medical research centers have shown early interest in the app. Human Dx on Thursday announced a new partnership with top medical profession organizations including the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges to promote and scale up Human Dx's system. The goal is to provide timely and affordable specialist advice to general practitioners serving millions of people worldwide, in particular so-called "safety net" hospitals and clinics throughout the U.S. that offer access to care regardless of a patient's ability to pay.

"We need to find solutions that scale the capacity of existing doctors to serve more patients at the same or cheaper cost," says Jay Komarneni, founder and chair of Human Dx. Roughly 30 million uninsured Americans rely on safety net facilities, which generally have limited or no access to medical specialists. Those patients often face the stark choice of either paying out of pocket for an expensive in-person consultation or waiting for months to be seen by the few specialists working at public hospitals, which receive government funding to help pay for patient care, Komarneni says. Meanwhile studies have shown that between 25 percent and 30 percent (pdf) of such expensive specialist visits could be conducted by online consultations between physicians while sparing patients the additional costs or long wait times.

Komarneni envisions "augmenting or extending physician capacity with AI" to close this "specialist gap." Within five years Human Dx aims to become available to all 1,300 safety net community health centers and free clinics in the U.S. The same remote consultation services could also be made available to millions of people around the world who lack access to medical specialists, Komarneni says.

Posted by at August 11, 2017 7:24 AM