Artificial intelligence has had a tremendous impact in medicine, with applications in areas spanning administrative tasks and clinical medicine. The specific value that artificial intelligence brings to medicine brings varies based on several factors including the task at hand and the medical specialty involved. It has, for instance, been significantly incorporated into diagnostics including diagnostic techniques that involve imaging as well as into surgical procedures.
The specific applications of artificial intelligence in emergency settings are not yet clear. A new review has investigated the role of artificial intelligence in emergency medicine and is published in the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians Open. The meta-analysis included literature that was published up until the end of February 2020 and ultimately involved 150 citations. Approximately 11% of the studies came from out-of-hospital environments including contexts involving paramedics or emergency medical services, while the rest were from the emergency department or trauma bay.
The results of the study showed that in 16% of the studies, artificial intelligence applications were compared to adult performance and that in 8%, the artificial intelligence applications performed better than physicians in terms of at least one of the relevant measured outcomes. Based on these results, the authors conclude that there are promising applications for artificial intelligence in emergency medicine settings that warrant further research. These high value applications appear, as in other areas of medicine, to be especially focused on radiographic imaging as well as prediction-based diagnosis.
As more data are collected, it will become clearer how artificial intelligence can bolster emergency care and both improve the lives of patients and facilitate important healthcare provider tasks and procedures. It is likely that the different areas of medicine will gather insights that can be shared across medicine to optimize the use of artificial intelligence to complement the skills of the human experts who provide critical care.
Kirubarajan, A. et al. (2020). Artificial intelligence in emergency medicine: A scoping review. Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians Open, 1(6), 1691-1702.