Algorithm predicts who will die, have heart attack with 90% accuracy

  • LogitBoost was trained using scans and outcomes of 950 previous patients 
  • Algorithm was then programmed to use 85 variables to calculate a patent’s risk
  • Services like Netflix and Spotify use similar algorithms to personalise services 
  • After training it was able to correctly identify those likely to die or have a heart attack with 90 per cent accuracy  

Algorithms similar to those employed by Netflix and Spotify to customise services are now better than human doctors at spotting who will die or have a heart attack.

Machine learning was used to train LogitBoost, which its developers say can predict death or heart attacks with 90 per cent accuracy.

It was programmed to use 85 variables to calculate the risk to the health of the 950 patients that it was fed scans and data from.

Patients complaining of chest pain were subjected to a host of scans and tests before being treated by traditional methods.

Their data was later used to train the algorithm.

It ‘learned’ the risks and, during the six-year follow-up, had a 90 per cent success rate at predicting 24 heart attacks and 49 deaths from any cause.