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Healthier Healthcare


Gerald Loeb (Photo/Courtesy of Gerald Loeb) To Gerald Loeb , the U.S. healthcare system is a wasteful mess that all too often fails patients.

Physicians, good intentions notwithstanding, sometimes misdiagnose medical conditions because they don’t recall them from their training or are unaware of current diagnostic tests to identify them. They also, critics allege, order too many costly diagnostic tests of marginal value, especially in the case of suspected rare diseases, to guard against malpractice lawsuits.

Loeb, a professor of biomedical engineering, pharmacy and neurology at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering , has developed an algorithm that he believes has the potential to dramatically improve healthcare and lower medical costs. The AI-fueled algorithm, he said, could mine electronic healthcare records in databases to suggest likely diagnoses and useful diagnostic tests. That could lead to faster and better treatments for patients.

“The algorithm works just like a doctor – thinking about what to do next at each stage of the medical work-up,” said Loeb, a pioneer in the field of neural prosthetics and one of the original developers of the cochlear implant, now widely used to treat hearing loss. “The difference is that it has the benefit of all the experiences in […]

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