AI can predict when we'll die -- here's why that's a good thing

Research shows that less than half of the 8 percent of hospital admissions who need palliative care actually receive it, says Kenneth Jung, a research scientist at Stanford University School of Medicine who helped develop the new AI algorithm.

This can have terrible consequences if the patient’s health suddenly plummets, causing some people to spend their final days receiving aggressive treatments to extend life a few weeks when they’d rather spend that time with family. Studies have shown that approximately 80 percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but 60 percent die in acute care hospitals, according to Stanford.

The new algorithm can predict if a hospital inpatient will die within 3 to 12 months (a window during which palliative care is thought to be most useful) with over 90 percent accuracy.