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NHS Trust harnesses AI to speed up treatment

Published on 22/05/18 at 10:45am
IMAGE: Brett Wells

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust has teamed up with a provider of AI systems to introduce AI technology in order to improve treatment of patients who have experienced a heart attack.

The technology will be used to provide doctors with recommended evidence-based clinical treatment recommendations, which will use patient data, evidence and NICE guidance to provide individualised patient treatment.

Dr Mike Fisher, consultant cardiologist and Chief Clinical Information Officer at the Trust, explained how this will work in practice: “Similar to a ‘sat-nav’ which helps a driver navigate the roads, the AI software helps clinicians navigate vast amounts of information to find the right route to recovery for the patient. This will help us to provide the treatment that is most effective in meeting an individual patient’s medical needs according to established guidelines. For the patient this means they have the best chance of getting better quicker.”

Initially, the AI will run as part of a trial this summer on the Trust’s acute cardiac unit; however, if the system proves to be effective, it could be used more broadly across the hospital’s key clinical systems.

The announcement also comes only a day after Theresa May revealed plans to boost AI funding to boost early detection of cancer.

Though exactly how this would happen wasn’t pointed out, the intention comes at a time when the medical community is beginning to become excited about the potential for AI to take some of the workload away from doctors.

In the case of the Trust, it could simply increase the speed by which a patient is treated and allow them to return home quickly – thereby freeing up hospital space and allowing the patient to convalesce at the comfort of their home sooner.

The implementation of the system will be carried out by Deontics, and Fisher explained why the Trust had chosen to work with this company: “Deontics is one of the smartest decision support systems out there. It has been used to individually recommend different chemotherapy regimes based on complex research. No other system can do this. It is a very interesting firm, and we are hopeful for a continued relationship.”

Ben Hargreaves

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