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Dr. Muthuraman Alagappan M.D.

Topic: Artificial intelligence in clinical medicine


Artificial intelligence (AI) is the process of teaching computers to perform tasks that require human intelligence. AI is now being used in clinical medicine to perform a variety of skills ranging from diagnosis of diabetic nephropathy and melanoma to automatic triage of patients at home or in the emergency room. This lecture will cover the basics of artificial intelligence and will highlight several ways in which AI is currently being used to improve patient care.



1. Describe the basic features of artificial intelligence and machine learning

2. Describe several clinical areas in which AI is being used to assist human physicians

Muthu Alagappan is an internal medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.


Trained as both a physician and engineer, Muthu is interested in transformative healthcare technologies, specifically in the application of artificial intelligence and augmented reality to clinical medicine. He is a collaborator with the MIT Media Lab (Health 0.0) and previously served as a consultant to several health technology startups in the Bay Area. His research, which has led to several peer reviewed publications in leading medical journals, has focused on reinforcement learning for sepsis management, deep learning for colonic polyp detection, and topological data analysis for early phase drug discovery. He is a two-time winner of the “Forbes 30 Under 30” award (2012 and 2013), and has presented his work at many national venues including South by Southwest (SxSW) and TEDx.


Prior to medical school, Muthu worked at Ayasdi Inc., where he founded and led the company’s sports analytics division. His novel machine learning approach for NBA analytics, termed “Muthuball,” has been featured by over 40 media outlets including GQ, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.


Muthu earned a B.S. in Biomechanical Engineering with Distinction from Stanford University and an M.D with a concentration in biomedical informatics from Stanford School of Medicine, where he was elected as the class commencement speaker. He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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