Machine learning in medicine: It has arrived, let's embrace it

J Card Surg. 2021 Nov;36(11):4121-4124. doi: 10.1111/jocs.15918. Epub 2021 Aug 15.


Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have arrived in medicine and the healthcare community is experiencing significant growth in their adoption across numerous patient care settings. There are countless applications for machine learning and AI in medicine ranging from patient outcome prediction, to clinical decision support, to predicting future patient therapeutic setpoints. This commentary discusses a recent application leveraging machine learning to predict one-year patient survival following orthotopic heart transplantation. This modeling approach has significant implications in terms of improving clinical decision-making, patient counseling, and ultimately organ allocation and has been shown to significantly outperform pre-existing algorithms. This commentary also discusses how adoption and advancement of this modeling approach in the future can provide increased personalization of patient care. The continued expansion of information systems and growth of electronic patient data sources in health care will continue to pave the way for increased use and adoption of data science in medicine. Personalized medicine has been a long-standing goal of the healthcare community and with machine learning and AI now being continually incorporated into clinical settings and practice, this technology is well on the pathway to make a considerable impact to greatly improve patient care in the near future.

Keywords: artificial intelligence; big data; heart transplantation; machine learning; predictive modeling.

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning*
  • Precision Medicine