Skip Navigation


6th annual dx conference logo

6th Annual Diagnostic Excellence Summit:
Keeping Diagnosis Human in the Digital Age

June 14, 10am-2pm EDT
Register now

IBM Watson Health. Google Health/DeepMind. Ada. Human Dx. We’ve all heard that the artificial intelligence steamroller is coming to medical diagnosis, often followed by the question: Would you rather be the one steamrolled — or the one driving the steamroller? Medical diagnosis in clinical practice has been an exclusively human task for centuries, but studies consistently show that current diagnostic accuracy is far from perfect, with likely hundreds of thousands of patients suffering serious misdiagnosis-related harms each year in the U.S. Use of artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) in medicine is on the rise and is likely here to stay. Some even predict that AI/ML will completely replace clinicians within a matter of decades. But is (wo)man versus machine our only option, or is that a false choice?

While the impetus to develop digital tools to improve diagnosis for our patients is readily justified, concerns about AI/ML’s inaccuracy, bias and loss of humanity are also well founded. This year’s Diagnostic Excellence Summit will feature an amazing lineup of expert speakers and small group discussions focused on ways to envision keeping diagnosis human in the digital age. Whether you’re deeply skeptical or excited about AI/ML for diagnosis, uncertain or curious, or if you’re deeply afraid that you’ll be replaced by a robot in the next five years, it’s a great time to talk about optimizing integration of machines into the medical diagnostic process. Come to this year’s virtual summit and lend your voice to the dialogue about the role of human and machine in medicine.

Johns Hopkins Summit Organizers:

  • David Newman-Toker, MD, PhD

    Professor of Neurology and Director, Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence

    David Newman-Toker, MD, PhD
  • Kathryn McDonald, PhD, MM

    Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Systems, Quality and Safety and Co-Director, Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence

    Kathryn McDonald, PhD, MM
  • Ahmed Hassoon, MD

    DX Summit Chair, Research Associate, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,
    Scientific Project Manager, Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence

    Ahmed Hassoon headshot
  • Ayodele McClenney, JD

    Director Strategic Initiatives & Business Development,
    Armstrong Institute Center for Diagnostic Excellence


Keynote Panelist

Ziad Obermeyer headshot

Ziad Obermeyer — Blue Cross of California Distinguished Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he conducts research and teaches about machine learning and health. Obermeyer is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator and faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and he was named an emerging leader by the National Academy of Medicine. He also practices emergency medicine in underserved communities. Obermeyer’s work has been published in a wide range of journals, including Science, Nature Medicine, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association and International Conference on Machine Learning, , and he has won awards from professional societies in medicine and economics. Obermeyer has served as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.

Presentation Title: “A Machine Learning Approach to Reducing Diagnostic Error”

Machine learning is a powerful new tool to study how physicians make decisions and how to combat low-value health care. Using the example of testing for heart attack in the emergency department, Obermeyer will show that physicians both over test and under test, and will document a range of cognitive factors at play. The results suggest a central role for physician error in generating low-value care, and suggest a return to policy solutions that address both overuse and under use of testing .




Highlights from Past Conferences

  • The Diagnostic Excellence Summit was open to the public to discuss disparities and equity issues facing patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, to consider innovations in care models, research and clinical interventions, and to examine gaps in knowledge and best practices regarding addressing the impact of disparities on diagnosis.

    • Keynote Speech: “National Perspectives in Health Care Disparities” by Jeffrey Brady, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety,
    • The first segment of the summit, led by Brady, featured a panel of experts discussing a national perspective on health care disparities and the pandemic’s impact on access and equity concerns.
    • The second segment, Understanding the Intersection of Disparities and Diagnostic Excellence, featured talks from leaders evaluating access and equity issues impacting our communities. The session explored key concepts in disparities research as well as innovations in telehealth deployment and education to consider and address challenges in clinical care in this new environment.
    • The third and final segment of the conference, led by practicing clinicians in primary care, women’s health and emergency medicine, focused on real world clinical experiences as well as innovative approaches in community engagement and in modeling, methods and technology. Faculty presented specific clinical adaptations to improve care quality, access and equity during the pandemic and to facilitate conversation to learn from other organizations and clinicians across the country.
  • This three-hour virtual summit focused on diagnosing SARS-CoV-2, COVID disease and non-COVID diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • Panel discussions led by Yukari Manabe, professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, focused on current and future diagnostics for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
    • A presentation by Joshua Sharfstein, vice dean for public health practice and community engagement, featured a panel of clinical, public health and public policy experts discussing an overall strategy to address both COVID and non-COVID disease diagnosis across different levels of the public health response.
    • Presentations by the leaders of the Center for Diagnostic Excellence included Susan Peterson, assistant professor of emergency medicine, and Kathryn McDonald, a patient safety expert and Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Systems, Quality and Safety.
    • Networking with patient safety and quality champions across our health system.
    • Presentations by faculty and staff members throughout Johns Hopkins Medicine.

    • Educational courses:

      • Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasound in the Diagnosis and Stratification of Patients with COVID-19

      • Telehealth Diagnostic Triage of Patients in the Era of COVID

      • Being a Patient in the Midst of a Pandemic: Experiences Seeking COVID and non-COVID Care

      • Preparing for the “Second Wave” of COVID Diagnosis

      • Clinical Data Repurposed for Diagnosing and Tracking the Outbreak

      • View the full program agenda.



For questions, please email

back to top button