It’s said that 10-20% of all medical diagnoses are wrong. That’s a bit scary, but it’s not surprising. Medical diagnostics is inherently complex, the medical literature is always expanding, and doctors, like all humans, grapple with availability bias – they diagnose diseases they know instead of diseases they don’t. Diagnostic accuracy is clearly a problem.

Today’s guest is Art Papier, MD. Art is the co-founder and CEO of VisualDx. According to Art, there are common diseases and rare diseases, and there are common presentations and rare presentations. The bulk of diagnostic errors are made on common diseases with rare presentations. The goal of VisualDx, a clinical decision support system, is to “augment the brain” of physicians and help them make better diagnoses at the point of care.

On this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The importance of being crystal clear on why you exist as a company. What problem are you trying to solve?
  • Why and how most diagnosis errors occur with common diseases.
  • Why physicians need a guidance system (and why that’s not Google).
  • Why diagnosis is NOT “big data”.
  • What’s the ETTO principle – Efficiency Thoroughness Trade-Off and how clinical decision support systems can help.
  • Why it’s so critical for startups and entrepreneurs to have doctors on their team.
  • Why Art favors pull technologies over push technologies when serving doctors. And the problems you have to overcome as a result of using them.
  • Why machine learning is a great way to augment the brain, but will likely never be the full solution.
  • How machine learning can be effectively applied to very good data (i.e. 20 years worth).
  • Why labeling and terminology are so critical to any successful machine learning application.
  • Why general artificial intelligence is a fool’s game and how to stand out with niche and nuance.
  • How VisualDx is sharing it’s 20 years of imaging with consumers and combining it with machine learning to help them better understand common skin conditions with Aysa.
  • How Apple CoreML allows Aysa to apply machine learning algorithms to consumer images without ever moving that picture off of the consumer’s device.

About Art Papier, MD

Dr. Papier is the co-founder of VisualDx and Chief Executive Officer. A thought leader in health information technology, Dr. Papier maintains the overall vision for the VisualDx product with a keen focus on software integration and impacting costs in healthcare through clinical accuracy. His entrepreneurial drive, years of clinical experience, and passion for delivering impactful and useful healthcare solutions have propelled VisualDx clinical decision support to be the most widely used diagnostic system in healthcare.

A dermatologist, Dr. Papier has a particular interest in the visual and graphical representation of diagnosis and reducing diagnostic error. In line with this goal, he is focused on transforming medical care to include the use of information technology at the time of decision making. Dr. Papier leads teams engaged in vision science and deep learning, and a group focused on consumer health, developing tools to empower patients.

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Dr. Papier completed his premed studies at Columbia University, received his MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, and completed his graduate medical training at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is an Associate Professor of Dermatology and Medical Informatics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

About VisualDx

VisualDx is an award-winning diagnostic clinical decision support system used in over 2,300 hospitals, clinics, and medical schools worldwide. VisualDx is designed to enhance diagnostic accuracy, aid therapeutic decisions, and improve patient safety at the point of care.

With VisualDx, clinicians can:

  • Build a custom differential diagnosis by entering a key finding across general medicine
  • Review the world’s best medical image library to compare variations of disease
  • Access therapy and best tests options
  • Understand medication reactions
  • Recognize infections and travel-related illnesses
  • Share images and information with patients

VisualDx is a software that is available on the web, smartphone, and tablet. It can also be integrated into the electronic health record to fit within the clinician’s workflow.

The value of VisualDx:

  • Reduce Risk. VisualDx shows variation of diseases to solve complex patient presentations and improve diagnostic accuracy.
  • Clinical Efficiency. Users report saving up to 26 minutes a day by using VisualDx.
  • The Power of Visualization. Combine medical images and exclusive Sympticon™ technology to visualize diseases, symptoms, and drug eruptions.
  • Medicine’s Fastest Second Opinion. With VisualDx, get access to specialty level knowledge at the point of care. This can help reduce unnecessary referrals.
  • Enhanced Patient Satisfaction. Share images and disease information with patients to build confidence and strengthen the patient-clinician relationship.

Learn more:

Twitter: @VisualDx

Get Aysa on Apple or Googe Play.


If you’re interested in machine learning and artificial intelligence, and how they can be applied in medicine, then you’ll enjoy:

Deep Medicine with Dr. Eric Topol

Demystifying Big Data and Machine Learning for Healthcare w/ Prashant Natarajan

Listen to the full interview with Dr. Art Papier right here:

Or, find it on your favorite podcast network such as:

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Music by StudioEtar