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Research Letter
December 2016

Comparison of Physician and Computer Diagnostic Accuracy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3The Human Diagnosis Project, Washington, DC
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(12):1860-1861. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6001

The Institute of Medicine recently highlighted that physician diagnostic error is common and information technology may be part of the solution.1 Given advancements in computer science, computers may be able to independently make accurate clinical diagnoses.2 While studies have compared computer vs physician performance for reading electrocardiograms,3 the diagnostic accuracy of computers vs physicians remains unknown. To fill this gap in knowledge, we compared the diagnostic accuracy of physicians with computer algorithms called symptom checkers.

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