Many doctors make light work when it comes to diagnoses

Study shows crowdsourcing clinical cases increases diagnostic accuracy

Groups of doctors deliver more accurate diagnoses than doctors working alone, even when they are specialists diagnosing cases in their own field, a US study shows.

The finding comes from the Human Diagnosis Project, which brings doctors of all career levels together on a digital platform to practise authoring and diagnosing real-life clinical cases. 

Using the project's database, Harvard University researchers examined 1572 cases for which 2069 users had offered diagnoses — some individually and some in teams.

They found that on their own both qualified doctors and trainees didn't fare so well, arriving at the correct diagnosis just 62.5% of the time — equivalent to a 'D' grade said lead author Dr Michael Barnett, an assistant professor of health policy and management at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public