Views And Reviews No Holds Barred

Margaret McCartney: Innovation without sufficient evidence is a disservice to all

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3980 (Published 05 September 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3980

"The computer says no"

The scientific validation of clinical apps is of significant concern although not insurmountable (1) (2).

The potential for indiscriminate utilisation of such clinical apps would be another major concern. The gate-keeping financial managers might decide to use these apps for triaging of patients in primary and secondary care. (3).

Like many frustrated consumers navigating the "interactive voice response systems” and consumer helplines, many patients utilising these clinical apps might end up longing for human contact.

References.
1. Margaret McCartney. Innovation without sufficient evidence is a disservice to all BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3980.

2. Tang H, Ng J. Googling for a diagnosis—use of Google as a diagnostic aid: internet based study. BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39003.640567

3. Cronin RM, Fabbri D, Denny JC, Rosenbloom ST, Jackson GP. A comparison of rule-based and machine learning approaches for classifying patient portal messages. Int J Med Inform. 2017 Sep;105:110-120. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2017.06.004. Epub 2017 Jun 23.

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 September 2017
Santhanam Sundar
Consultant Oncologist
Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust