A medical algorithm is any computation, formula, statistical survey, nomogram, or look-up table, useful in healthcare. Medical algorithms include decision tree approaches to healthcare treatment (e.g., if symptoms A, B, and C are evident, then use treatment X) and also less clear-cut tools aimed at reducing or defining uncertainty.
Medical algorithms are part of a broader field which is usually fit under the aims of medical informatics and medical decision making. Medical decisions occur in several areas of medical activity including medical test selection, diagnosis, therapy and prognosis, and automatic control of medical equipment.
In relation to logic-based and artificial neural network-based clinical decision support system, which are also computer applications to the medical decision making field, algorithms are less complex in architecture, data structure and user interface. Medical algorithms are not necessarily implemented using digital computers. In fact, many of them can be represented on paper, in the form of diagrams, nomographs, etc.