Artificial intelligence/machine learning in respiratory medicine and potential role in asthma and COPD diagnosis

Alan Kaplan* (Corresponding Author), Hui Cao, J Mark FitzGerald, Nick Iannotti, Eric Yang, Janwillem W H Kocks, Konstantinos Kostikas, David Price, Helen K Reddel, Ioanna Tsiligianni, Claus F Vogelmeier, Pascal Pfister, Paul Mastoridis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)
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Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, a subset of AI, are increasingly utilized in medicine. AI excels at performing well-defined tasks, such as image recognition; for example, classifying skin biopsy lesions, determining diabetic retinopathy severity, and detecting brain tumors. This article provides an overview of the use of AI in medicine and particularly in respiratory medicine, where it is used to evaluate lung cancer images, diagnose fibrotic lung disease, and more recently is being developed to aid the interpretation of pulmonary function tests and the diagnosis of a range of obstructive and restrictive lung diseases. The development and validation of AI algorithms requires large volumes of well-structured data, and the algorithms must work with variable levels of data quality. It is important that clinicians understand how AI can function in the context of heterogeneous conditions such as asthma and COPD where diagnostic criteria overlap, how AI use fits into everyday clinical practice and how issues of patient safety should be addressed. AI has a clear role in providing support for doctors in the clinical workplace but its relatively recent introduction means that confidence in its use still has to be fully established. Overall, AI is expected to play a key role in aiding clinicians in the diagnosis and management of respiratory diseases in the future and it will be exciting to the see benefits that arise for patients and doctors from its use in everyday clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2255-2261
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number6
Early online date19 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

We thank Ian Wright, PhD, of Novartis Ireland Ltd, for providing medical writing support in accordance with Good Publication Practice (GPP3) guidelines (


  • Artificial intelligence
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Diagnosis
  • Machine learning
  • Respiratory disease


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