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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

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May 2024
Oshrit Hoffer PhD, Moriya Cohen BS, Maya Gerstein MD, Vered Shkalim Zemer MD, Yael Richenberg MD, Shay Nathanson MD, Herman Avner Cohen MD

Background: Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is the predominant bacterial pathogen of pharyngitis in children. However, distinguishing GAS from viral pharyngitis is sometimes difficult. Unnecessary antibiotic use contributes to unwanted side effects, such as allergic reactions and diarrhea. It also may increase antibiotic resistance. 

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of a machine learning algorithm on the clinical evaluation of bacterial pharyngitis in children.

Methods: We assessed 54 children aged 2–17 years who presented to a primary healthcare clinic with a sore throat and fever over 38°C from 1 November 2021 to 30 April 2022. All children were tested with a streptococcal rapid antigen detection test (RADT). If negative, a throat culture was performed. Children with a positive RADT or throat culture were considered GAS-positive and treated antibiotically for 10 days, as per guidelines. Children with negative RADT tests throat cultures were considered positive for viral pharyngitis. The children were allocated into two groups: Group A streptococcal pharyngitis (GAS-P) (n=36) and viral pharyngitis (n=18). All patients underwent a McIsaac score evaluation. A linear support vector machine algorithm was used for classification.

Results: The machine learning algorithm resulted in a positive predictive value of 80.6 % (27 of 36) for GAS-P infection. The false discovery rates for GAS-P infection were 19.4 % (7 of 36).

Conclusions: Applying the machine-learning strategy resulted in a high positive predictive value for the detection of streptococcal pharyngitis and can contribute as a medical decision aid in the diagnosis and treatment of GAS-P.

February 2024
Yoad M. Dvir, Arnon Blum MD MSc

In this special issue of Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) we expose readers to the topic of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine. AI has become a powerful tool, which enables healthcare professionals to personalize treatment based on many factors, including genetic analyses of tumors, and to consider other co-morbidities affecting a specific patient. AI gives physicians the ability to analyze huge amounts of data and to combine data from different sources. AI can be implemented make a diagnosis based on computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans using deep machine learning and data that are stored in the memory of mega computers. AI assists in tailoring more precise surgery to train surgeons before surgery and to support surgeons during procedures. This advancement may benefit surgical procedures by making them more accurate and faster without cutting unnecessary tissues (e.g., nerves and blood vessels); thus, patients face fewer complications, lower rates of infection, and more operation theater time. In this issue, we include three original studies that describe the use of AI in academia and eight review articles that discuss applications of AI in different specialties in medicine. One of the review articles addresses ethical issues and concerns that are raised due to the more advanced use of AI in medicine.

Diana Shair MD, Shiri Soudry MD

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a powerful technology in medicine, with a potential to revolutionize various aspects of disease management. In recent years, substantial progress has been made in the development and implementation of AI algorithms and models for the diagnosis, screening, and monitoring of retinal diseases. We present a brief update on recent advancements in the implementation of AI in the field of retinal medicine, with a focus on age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinopathy of prematurity. AI algorithms have demonstrated remarkable capabilities in automating image analysis tasks, thus enabling accurate segmentation and classification of retinal pathologies. AI-based screening programs hold great promise in cost-effective identification of individuals at risk, thereby facilitating early intervention and prevention. Future integration of multimodal imaging data including optical coherence tomography with additional clinical parameters, will further enhance the diagnostic accuracy and support the development of personalized medicine, thus aiding in treatment selection and optimizing therapeutic outcomes. Further research and collaboration will drive the transformation of AI into an indispensable tool for improving patient outcomes and enhancing the field of retinal medicine.

Natalie Nathan MD, Michael Saring MD, Noam Savion-Gaiger MD, Kira Radinsky PhD, Alma Peri MD

A rise in the incidence of chronic health conditions, notably heart failure, is expected due to demographic shifts. Such an increase places an onerous burden on healthcare infrastructures, with recurring hospital admissions and heightened mortality rates being prominent factors. Efficient chronic disease management hinges on regular ambulatory care and preemptive action. The application of intelligent computational models is showing promise as a key resource in the ongoing management of chronic diseases, particularly in forecasting disease trajectory and informing timely interventions. In this review, we explored a pioneering intelligent computational model by Diagnostic Robotics, an Israeli start-up company. This model uses data sourced from insurance claims to forecast the progression of heart failure. The goal of the model is to identify individuals at increased risk for heart failure, thus enabling interventions to be initiated early, mitigating the risk of disease worsening, and relieving the pressure on healthcare facilities, which will result in economic efficiencies.

Sotirios G. Tsiogkas MD, Yoad M. Dvir, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Dimitrios P. Bogdanos MD PhD

Over the last decade the use of artificial intelligence (AI) has reformed academic research. While clinical diagnosis of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is largely straightforward, the determining factors of a clinical response to therapy, and specifically to biologic agents, have not yet been found. AI may meaningfully impact attempts to unravel the prognostic factors that affect response to therapy, assist experimental techniques being used to investigate immune cell populations, examine whether these populations are associated with treatment responses, and incorporate immunophenotype data in prediction models. The aim of this mini review was to present the current state of the AI-mediated attempts in the field. We executed a Medline search in October 2023. Selection and presentation of studies were conducted following the principles of a narrative–review design. We present data regarding the impact AI can have on the management of psoriatic disease by predicting responses utilizing clinical or biological parameters. We also reviewed the ways AI has been implemented to assist development of models that revolutionize the investigation of peripheral immune cell subsets that can be used as biomarkers of response to biologic treatment. Last, we discussed future perspectives and ethical considerations regarding the use of machine learning models in the management of immune-mediated diseases.

December 2022
Noy Nachmias-Peiser MD, Shelly Soffer MD, Nir Horesh MD, Galit Zlotnick MD, Marianne Michal Amitai Prof, Eyal Klang MD

Background: Acute mesenteric ischemia (AMI) is a medical condition with high levels of morbidity and mortality. However, most patients suspected of AMI will eventually have a different diagnosis. Nevertheless, these patients have a high risk for co-morbidities.

Objectives: To analyze patients with suspected AMI with an alternative final diagnosis, and to evaluate a machine learning algorithm for prognosis prediction in this population.

Methods: In a retrospective search, we retrieved patient charts of those who underwent computed tomography angiography (CTA) for suspected AMI between January 2012 and December 2015. Non-AMI patients were defined as patients with negative CTA and a final clinical diagnosis other than AMI. Correlation of past medical history, laboratory values, and mortality rates were evaluated. We evaluated gradient boosting (XGBoost) model for mortality prediction.

Results: The non-AMI group comprised 325 patients. The two most common groups of diseases included gastrointestinal (33%) and biliary-pancreatic diseases (27%). Mortality rate was 24.6% for the entire cohort. Medical history of chronic kidney disease (CKD) had higher risk for mortality (odds ratio 2.2). Laboratory studies revealed that lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) had the highest diagnostic ability for predicting mortality in the entire cohort (AUC 0.70). The gradient boosting model showed an area under the curve of 0.82 for predicting mortality.

Conclusions: Patients with suspected AMI with an alternative final diagnosis showed a 25% mortality rate. A past medical history of CKD and elevated LDH were associated with increased mortality. Non-linear machine learning algorithms can augment single variable inputs for predicting mortality.

November 2022
Michael Shapiro MD, Yarden Yavne MD, Daniel Shepshelovich MD

The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to more than 200 million infected cases and 4.6 million deaths worldwide, and the numbers continue to grow. The disease presentation varies, and while most patients will present with a mild disease course, 5% will eventually develop significant respiratory failure, some despite initially presenting with mild symptoms. Early detection of patients at risk for deterioration is crucial for decisions regarding hospitalization, monitoring, timing, and extent of treatment.

Zvia Agur PhD

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound impact on our world and has cost millions their lives. It has disrupted economies and education systems and has taken away means of support from masses of people around the world. No wonder this pandemic is like a black hole, drawing in all resources and all expertise. In the scientific arena, the pandemic has created a tremendous opportunity for new and exciting synergies between different disciplines.

April 2022
Mohammad Khatib PhD MPH, Ahmad Sheikh Muhammad MPH, Salam Hadid PhD, Izhar Ben Shlomo MD, and Malik Yousef PhD

Background: Hookah smoking is a common activity around the world and has recently become a trend among youth. Studies have indicated a relationship between hookah smoking and a high prevalence of chronic diseases, cancer, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases. In Israel, there has been a sharp increase in hookah smoking among the Arabs. Most studies have focused mainly on hookah smoking among young people.

Objectives: To examine the association between hookah smoking and socioeconomic characteristics, health status and behaviors, and knowledge in the adult Arab population and to build a prediction model using machine learning methods.

Methods: This quantitative study based is on data from the Health and Environment Survey conducted by the Galilee Society in 2015–2016. The data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 2046 adults aged 18 years and older.

Results: Using machine learning, a prediction model was built based on eight features. Of the total study population, 13.0% smoked hookah. In the 18–34 age group, 19.5% smoked. Men, people with lower level of health knowledge, heavy consumers of energy drinks and alcohol, and unemployed people were more likely to smoke hookah. Younger and more educated people were more likely to smoke hookah.

Conclusions: Hookah smoking is a widespread behavior among adult Arabs in Israel. The model generated by our study is intended to help health organizations reach people at risk for smoking hookah and to suggest different approaches to eliminate this phenomenon.

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