Will artificial intelligence be your next ER doctor? An AI program was 95% effective at diagnosing acute upper-respiratory infection in a test of its diagnostic capabilities.

AI systems are already adept at recognizing patterns in medical imaging to aid in diagnosis. New findings published February 11 in Nature Medicine show similar training can work for deriving a diagnosis from the raw data in a child’s medical chart.

For this study at Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center in southern China, a team of physicians distilled information from thousands of health records into key words linked to different diagnoses. Investigators then taught these key words to the AI system so it could detect the terms in real medical charts. Once trained, the system combed the electronic health records (EHRs) of 567,498 children, parsing the real-world physician notes and highlighting important information.