Diagnosis: From classification to prediction

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Over the last two decades diagnostic labels have increasingly been sub-divided based on molecular and genetic ‘signatures’. But this emphasis on disease sub-types defined in molecular terms, elides the central role of population-based predictive technologies in determining these new diagnoses. While molecular diagnostic sub-types might flow from the laboratory, the clinical validity of every putative diagnostic category must ultimately be tested against its predictive powers. In effect, the former logic of prognosis following diagnosis is reversed. This paper explores the emergence of this new method of diagnostic practice over the last half century.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112444
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Early online date25 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • Classification
  • Diagnosis
  • Prediction
  • Prognosis


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