Lara Jehi, MD: Using Algorithms in Epilepsy Care


The professor of neurology at Cleveland Clinic’s epilepsy center spoke about the limitations of individual physicians in making clinical decisions, and how utilizing algorithm data can help improve epilepsy interventions.

“My argument is that we should be using [algorithms]. The challenge that we’re dealing with is, as physicians, we still have the mindset that all we need is the information and we’ll know how to process it. [That] we don’t need anything to tell us how to reach a decision.”

The use of algorithms to aid in the decision-making process of caring for patients has become more widespread in recent years. In epilepsy, however, the uptick in their use has been rather slow, according to Lara Jehi, MD.

Jehi, a professor of neurology at Cleveland Clinic’s epilepsy center, recently gave a talk at the 2019 International Epilepsy Congress, June 22-26, in Bangkok, Thailand, about this very topic. In her presentation, she argued that despite the long-held belief of many clinicians that the treatment decisions they make are based on their expertise and understanding of the patients they treat, by not utilizing these algorithms, physicians are missing out on a wealth of knowledge that they otherwise would not have. In a conversation with NeurologyLive®, Jehi said that “algorithms give us the ability to learn from all of our patients, not just the ones that [we see].”

She discussed how a wealth of literature suggests that clinical decision-making is limited by physician bias. Most notably, she mentioned that physicians can only recall the patients they have seen, whereas the use of algorithms allows for the incorporation of data from thousands of other patients. As well, she mentioned several algorithms which have been studied and used in the treatment of epilepsy already.

For more coverage of IEC 2019, click here.


Jehi L. Algorithms in clinical practice — can they really help us predict outcomes? Presented at: 2019 International Epilepsy Congress. June 22-26, 2019; Bangkok, Thailand.

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