Artificial intelligence-based clinical decision support in pediatrics

Pediatr Res. 2023 Jan;93(2):334-341. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02226-1. Epub 2022 Jul 29.


Machine learning models may be integrated into clinical decision support (CDS) systems to identify children at risk of specific diagnoses or clinical deterioration to provide evidence-based recommendations. This use of artificial intelligence models in clinical decision support (AI-CDS) may have several advantages over traditional "rule-based" CDS models in pediatric care through increased model accuracy, with fewer false alerts and missed patients. AI-CDS tools must be appropriately developed, provide insight into the rationale behind decisions, be seamlessly integrated into care pathways, be intuitive to use, answer clinically relevant questions, respect the content expertise of the healthcare provider, and be scientifically sound. While numerous machine learning models have been reported in pediatric care, their integration into AI-CDS remains incompletely realized to date. Important challenges in the application of AI models in pediatric care include the relatively lower rates of clinically significant outcomes compared to adults, and the lack of sufficiently large datasets available necessary for the development of machine learning models. In this review article, we summarize key concepts related to AI-CDS, its current application to pediatric care, and its potential benefits and risks. IMPACT: The performance of clinical decision support may be enhanced by the utilization of machine learning-based algorithms to improve the predictive performance of underlying models. Artificial intelligence-based clinical decision support (AI-CDS) uses models that are experientially improved through training and are particularly well suited toward high-dimensional data. The application of AI-CDS toward pediatric care remains limited currently but represents an important area of future research.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence*
  • Child
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical*
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Software