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New program may prevent some unneeded tests, speed treatment

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A new computer program helps calculate the odds of a patient having an illness. The Wall Street Journal says the predictive tool, “which pops up on a screen of electronic medical records, prompts the doctor to answer a short series of questions about the patient’s condition. Based on that information, a calculator predicts the probability that the person has the suspected ailment. It may also recommend a course of action.”

The hope is that the technology can cut the number of expensive tests and antibiotics ordered by allowing the early ruling out of some diseases as causing the symptoms a patient shows up with, thus speeding appropriate care.


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