In addition, Usvyat repeatedly faces controversial issues in his work, such as whether computers will ever replace doctors and nurses. “Of course not,” says the researcher. “We will always need human knowledge to make the calculation meaningful and interpreted correctly.” Even though his team developed mathematical models, they worked closely with doctors and dialysis center staff to better understand their needs. “We want to help them and give them a tool to do their job better than ever,” says Usvyat.
Usvyat believes that algorithms will become an increasingly natural part of healthcare in the future and we will gradually get used to it. But even he sees limitations when it comes to using computerized predictions in everyday clinical life, such as calculating mortality and sexual or skin color correlations. “We have to be extremely careful and delicate when dealing with such ethical issues,” says Usvyat. “But one thing is for sure: if we use the new tools wisely, we can improve the quality of life of our patients with lasting impact.”