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Artificial Adaptive Systems and predictive medicine: a revolutionary paradigm shift

Author(s): Grossi Enzo

Journal: Immunity & Ageing
ISSN 1742-4933

Volume: 7;
Issue: Suppl 1;
Start page: S3;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract An individual patient is not the average representative of the population. Rather he or she is a person with unique characteristics. An intervention may be effective for a population but not necessarily for the individual patient. The recommendation of a guideline may not be right for a particular patient because it is not what he or she wants, and implementing the recommendation will not necessarily mean a favourable outcome. The author will describe a reconfiguration of medical thought which originates from non linear dynamics and chaos theory. The coupling of computer science and these new theoretical bases coming from complex systems mathematics allows the creation of “intelligent” agents able to adapt themselves dynamically to problem of high complexity: the Artificial Adaptive Systems, which include Artificial Neural Networks( ANNs ) and Evolutionary Algorithms ( EA). ANNs and EA are able to reproduce the dynamical interaction of multiple factors simultaneously, allowing the study of complexity; they can also help medical doctors in making decisions under extreme uncertainty and to draw conclusions on individual basis and not as average trends. These tools can allow a more efficient Technology Transfer from the Science of Medicine to the Real World overcoming many obstacles responsible for the present translational failure. They also contribute to a new holistic vision of the human subject contrasting the statistical reductionism which tends to squeeze or even delete the single subject sacrificing him to his group of belongingness. A remarkable contribution to this individual approach comes from Fuzzy Logic, according to which there are no sharp limits between opposite things, like health and disease. This approach allows to partially escape from probability theory trap in situations where is fundamental to express a judgment based on a single case and favours a novel humanism directed to the management of the patient as individual subject.
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