Detection and Diagnosis
Detection is discovery of an illness or condition that is present, but had been “hidden” until purposely sought out and found. For example, detection will often start with a visit to your GP or perhaps a practice nurse or the pharmacist, where you have sought out the help of a healthcare professional due to symptoms that are affecting your wellbeing. From there, you may be offered a consultation with a specialist doctor who may arrange tests such as blood tests, x-rays or other examinations. These will be used to find the underlying cause of symptoms. These are “diagnostic” tests.
Early detection and diagnosis of disease is often crucial in many diseases as the outcome of treatment is much better if the patient is diagnosed early on.
Find out more about projects using AI in detection and diagnosis.
Evaluation and prognosis
Your health will be assessed (an evaluation) throughout the whole process, and this is done by collecting information from your medical history, clinical tests tests and interventions you have received. This will help the clinicians to understand if any treatments or interventions they have tried to date have been successful or not and may help them to decide how to proceed next.
You may be given a prognosis by your clinicians. This is an estimate of how your disease / illness is likely to progress over time and may include a prediction of your chance of recovery too. This is usually based on information from studies which show how your disease acts in the general population.
Find out more about projects using AI in evaluation and prognosis.
Once a diagnosis has been made you may be offered a treatment. This is something that will be offered in the hope of improving or maintaining your health.
Clinical interventions can take many forms, for instance they may be surgical or non-surgical; surgery to remove a cancerous tumour, or physiotherapy for a back problem. Intervention can be invasive, such as a cardiac stent, or non-invasive, such as taking a drug or combination of drugs. Other interventions can be offered such as dietary education, bereavement counselling or cognitive behaviour therapy which are cognitive interventions.
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Once a diagnosis has been established and you have received treatment of some kind, your disease / illness will be monitored over time, until you are no longer affected.
For instance, you may have x-rays, scans or blood tests etc. on a regular basis or be invited to see a healthcare professional for regular review, perhaps every three months or once a year. Examples include abdominal aortic aneurysms (a swelling of the main artery in the tummy) and peripheral arterial disease (block of arteries in the legs).
Find out more about projects using AI for disease monitoring.