Medical Tests & Procedures Archive


Artificial intelligence in cardiology

The American Heart Association's first-ever scientific statement on artificial intelligence (A.I.) in cardiology explores how the technology may improve how doctors prevent, detect, and treat heart disease. For example, A.I. data from patch monitors may predict who will develop potentially serious heart rhythms. Applying A.I. tools to a single chest x-ray may predict a person's risk of heart attack and other serious health problems.

A.I.'s promise for women's health

Artificial intelligence, or A.I., has been used in women's health care for decades. A.I. helps detect and track breast cancer, endometriosis, fibroids, cervical precancers, and other conditions. A.I.-driven mammography software may reveal more breast cancers than radiologists detect alone. A.I. may soon streamline women's breast cancer risk assessment scores to aid screening. Experts once predicted that A.I. would replace radiologists, but that hasn't happened and isn't likely, according to Harvard specialists.

Can your blood tests predict your future risk of stress, anxiety, or depression?

A 2024 study found that people with high blood sugar and high triglycerides are more likely to develop chronic stress, anxiety, or depression later in life, compared with people who have low or normal blood sugar levels.

New approaches to colorectal cancer screening

Screening methods for colorectal cancer continue to evolve. Stool tests are becoming more accurate, and it appears that an experimental blood test might one day provide another effective screening option. The most accurate colorectal cancer screening is a colonoscopy, which allows a doctor to peer inside the colon and rectum, find cancers, and remove potentially precancerous polyps on the spot to prevent future cancer. It's unclear if a stool or blood test will ever be as good for screening as a colonoscopy.

Health care should improve your health, right?

Modern medicine offers ever-expanding ways to heal and prevent disease, but it's also true that health care can cause harm. Some harms are preventable while others are much harder to control. So how can you reduce your chances of being harmed?

Blood test shows promise as simple test for Alzheimer's disease

A 2023 study suggests a blood test that looks for a specific biomarker may help identify people with Alzheimer's disease who may benefit from anti-amyloid therapy long before the disease is evident.

3 ways to streamline your health care visits

Three strategies can help decrease the number of days one must devote to medical appointments. The first is eliminating unneeded care, such as screening tests for people at low risk for certain conditions. The second strategy is coordinating various doctor visits, tests, or imaging for the same day. The third strategy is using telemedicine in place of appointments that would normally happen in person, such as mental health care visits or routine appointments for diabetes or high blood pressure.

When the heart suddenly starts racing

Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia is caused by an electrical glitch in the heart's upper chamber that causes the heart rate to suddenly soar for no apparent reason—sometimes as high as 200 beats per minute. The condition, which people describe as palpitations or a fluttering sensation in the chest, is usually not dangerous. But long-lasting bouts can lead to lightheadedness, breathlessness, and fainting.

New urine test may help some men with elevated PSA avoid biopsy

When a PSA test produces an abnormal result, the next step is usually a prostate biopsy, but these have drawbacks. Researchers are exploring strategies to avoid unnecessary biopsies, and a test that screens for prostate cancer in urine samples has shown promising results in testing.

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