Improving Patient Monitoring with AI and Big Data

Published Jun-03-19

Artificial intelligence-enabled devices to improve in-home patient care and decrease the volume of emergency room visits.

National Health Service, United Kingdom

The Story:

Improving Patient Monitoring with AI and Big Data From helping to improve antibiotic resistance to turning electronic health records into reliable risk predictors, artificial intelligence and big data are set to revolutionize patient care in so many different ways. One area receiving a lot of attention is patient monitoring.

AI Patient-Monitoring Tool

In the UK, a National Health Service (NHS) trust reduced home visits by medical staff after issuing patients recently released from hospital with AI-enabled wearable devices. This was part of a study by the Dartford and Gravesham's Hospital at Home team to reduce emergency room visits and hospital readmissions from at-home patients, without negatively impacting their recovery.

The NHS trust partnered with a health technology based in Scotland called Current. The devices patients wore sent real-time alerts about a patient’s condition and proved its worth with immediately.

“The value of Current was demonstrated in our very first patient––a chronically unwell patient who suffered a decline in oxygen saturation, which Current detected sooner than standard care would have caught it, letting us intervene earlier and in the patient’s home,” said Dartford and Gravesham Chief Information Officer Neil Perry said in a statement.

“With Current, we’ve seen the ability to deliver intervention at a far earlier point and prevent hospital readmission.”

According to this study, the AI-enabled device allowed medical staff to prioritize care to those who needed most and reduced home visits by 22%. This freed up more time and resources for nurses.

AI in Intensive Care Units

Artificial intelligence can also be used in high-pressure healthcare environments such as intensive care units. A March 2019 study published in 'Nature Digital Medicine,' chronicled how researchers had developed computer vision algorithms to detect movement by adult patients into or out of their beds and chairs.

Researchers developed algorithms to analyze data set of privacy-safe-depth-video images from wall-mounted depth sensors. The aim was to get the algorithms to recognize if patients had fallen out of their bed or chairs, which they did 87% of the time.

The research is in its early stages but already doctors are excited by the possibilities with some saying it could be a boon for intensive care units which are incredibly busy, "like Grand Central Station" said one. Artificial intelligence would allow staff to monitor patients more closely.

Better and Smarter Devices

While these advances are incredibly exciting we are only at the beginning of what artificial intelligence and big data crunching can do with patient monitoring. Other areas that will see developments are in smart prosthetics and smart implants to help identify possible problems.

Then there are digital pills and nanorobots to monitor adherence of medication and advanced materials and smart fabrics for cardiac monitoring and wound management.
The future of the healthcare industry is already here with artificial intelligence and big data bringing about rapid and transformative changes.

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