Dr. Ted Shortliffe on the Impact of Technology on the Practice of Medicine

It was an honor and a privilege to have Dr. Ted Shortliffe attend HealthIMPACT East on May 17th in New York.  Dr. Shortliffe is a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence in medicine.  He was the principal developer of the clinical expert system MYCIN, one of the first rule-based artificial intelligence expert systems, which obtained clinical data interactively from a physician user and was used to diagnose and recommend treatment for severe infections. He is regarded as a founder of the field of biomedical informatics. At the event Dr. Khalid Moidu, leading healthcare CIO and HealthIMPACT speaker and advisor interviewed Dr. Shortliffe on the evolution of medical informatics and AI in healthcare.

In 1976, 40 years ago, Dr. Shortliffe wrote “Computer-Based Medical Consultations: MYCIN“.  Then in 1984, 32 years ago he authored “Readings in Medical Artificial Intelligence: The First Decade” and in 2005, 11 years ago, he authored “Strategic Action in Health Information Technology – Why the Obvious Has Taken So Long”.  The title of the third begins to show his frustration with the pace of change, however in this interview, four decades later his optimism and outlook are encouraging.  He points out that “it has never been about the applications, but about what the applications can help clinicians and scientists achieve in medicine”.  As Dr. Shortliffe says “This is just the beginning of a long process and we are going to see tremendous improvements.” This is at the core of what we do at HealthIMPACT and we so appreciate him joining us in the mission to accelerate the pace at which technology improves patient care, clinical outcomes, and health of the population.