A Clinical Trial of a Computer Diagnosis Program for Chest Pain
NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB GROTON CT
Pagination or Media Count:
We evaluated the performance of a computer program designed to assist corpsmen in managing patients who present at sea with chest pain. The diagnostic accuracy of the program for three common and serious causes of chest pain-- myocardial infarction MI, angina, chest infection--as well as its accuracy for nonspecific chest pain, was compared with that of emergency room physicians at three Naval hospitals for 132 patients. The percentage of correct diagnoses by the computer program 72 was not significantly different from that of the physicians 79, although the accuracy of the physicians was better. The computer program was able to distinguish MI from the other diseases as well as the physicians i.e. was as sensitive, 83 vs. 84 and at the same time made fewer false diagnoses of MI i.e. was more specific. The computers ability to distinguish among cardiac illnesses was not as good as that of the physicians and it misdiagnosed more cases of angina. The computer program is suitable for use by medical personnel practicing in isolated locations and may help improve diagnostic accuracy in cases of MI. Its failures emphasize that it cannot substitute for medical personnel, but can be helpful to medical personnel when a patients diagnosis is uncertain.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Computer Programming and Software
- Submarine Engineering
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics