About the Study

To what extent the use of Computerized Diagnostic Decision Support Systems (CDDS) actually improves the quality of medical diagnoses and consequential health outcome of the individual patient remains unknown. One highly specialized algorithm recently outperformed even the best dermatologist in diagnosing skin lesions. However, such success has so far only been achieved in visual tasks where there is little to no variation in information format or content and where human error is already quite low. How CDDS performs on more “messy” and less well structured tasks that involve human interactions, such as evaluation of common symptoms like fever, abdominal pain or syncope remains unknown.

We conduct a single-blinded, cross sectional, multi-center, four-period cross-over controlled cluster-randomized clinical trial in Swiss Emergency Rooms using both qualitative and quantitative methods and analysis to evalute the effect of CDDS on the diagnostic processes and patient outcomes. We will focus on three common and frequently misdiagnosed symptoms: fever, abdominal pain and syncope. Patients will be followed-up for 28 days to evaluate outcomes.