BACKGROUND: Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly being developed and implemented to augment and automate decision-making across healthcare systems. Being an essential part of these systems, laboratories will see significant growth in AI applications for the foreseeable future. CONTENT: In laboratory medicine, AI can be used for operational decision-making and automating or augmenting human-based workflows. Specific applications include instrument automation, error detection, forecasting, result interpretation, test utilization, genomics, and image analysis. If not doing so today, clinical laboratories will be using AI routinely in the future, therefore, laboratory experts should understand their potential role in this new area and the opportunities for AI technologies. The roles of laboratorians range from passive provision of data to fuel algorithms to developing entirely new algorithms, with subject matter expertise as a perfect fit in the middle. The technical development of algorithms is only a part of the overall picture, where the type, availability, and quality of data are at least as important. Implementation of AI algorithms also offers technical and usability challenges that need to be understood to be successful. Finally, as AI algorithms continue to become available, it is important to understand how to evaluate their validity and utility in the real world. SUMMARY: This review provides an overview of what AI is, examples of how it is currently being used in laboratory medicine, different ways for laboratorians to get involved in algorithm development, and key considerations for AI algorithm implementation and critical evaluation.
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