Artificial Intelligence in the NHS

This report illustrates the areas where artificial intelligence (AI) could help the NHS become more efficient and deliver better outcomes for patients. | Reform

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The report from Reform suggests that AI has the potential to:

  • help address the health and wellbeing gap by predicting which individuals or groups of individuals are at risk of illness and allow the NHS to target treatment more effectively towards them
  • give all health professionals and patients access to cutting edge diagnostics and treatment tailored to individual need, helping to reduce the care and quality gap
  • help address the efficiency and funding gap by automating tasks, triaging patients to the most appropriate services and allowing them to self-care

The report makes 16 recommendations, and also highlights the main barriers to the implementation of this technology, suggesting some potential solutions.

Full report: Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS

 

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Mental health patients to benefit from new digital services

Seven areas across England are set to trail-blaze digital services for mental health patients, which will include innovative apps to improve care and online access to ‘real-time’ patient records. | NHS England

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NHS England has announced funding for seven mental health trusts to enable them to pioneer digital services for mental health patients.  It is intended that all key professionals involved in a patient’s care have access to real-time records – from triage and initial assessment, through to admissions or referrals, as well as transfer between services and follow up care.

The trusts will also develop remote, mobile and assistive technologies to empower patients to manage their conditions and enable family and carers to provide the best possible support.

The trusts will have up to £70m to invest in digital services – consisting £35m with additional match funding from themselves of £35m – in order to become ‘Global Digital Exemplars for Mental Health’ helping the organisations become world-leading in the use of IT, providing knowledge and expertise to the wider NHS in order to reduce time and costs for others.

This is all part of the NHS’ plan to harness technology to improve services and become more efficient.

The hospital of tomorrow in 10 points

Abstract

Technology has advanced rapidly in recent years and is continuing to do so, with associated changes in multiple areas, including hospital structure and function. Here we describe in 10 points our vision of some of the ways in which we see our hospitals, particularly those in developed countries, evolving in the future, including increased specialization, greater use of telemedicine and robots, the changing place of the intensive care unit, improved pre-hospital and post-hospital management, and improved end-of-life care.

New technology is going to increasingly impact how we practice medicine. We must learn how best to adapt to and encompass these changes if we are to achieve maximum benefit from them for ourselves and our patients. Importantly, while the future hospital will be more advanced technologically, it will also be more advanced on a personal, humane patient care level.

Full paper: Vincent, J.L. and Creteur, J.  The hospital of tomorrow in 10 points. Critical Care (2017) 21:93

7 innovative bits of research tech our Cancer Research U are developing

Today is Innovation Day, so CRUK are taking a look at some of the cutting edge technologies that their researchers are using in their efforts to understand and treat cancer | CRUK

  • iKnife: an ‘intelligent knife’ to spot cancerous tissue during surgery
  • Blood tests to monitor and personalise treatment
  • Nanobubbles to re-oxygenate tumours
  • Gold nanoparticles
  • Infra-red endoscopes to detect cancer earlier
  • Gene editing to boost immunotherapies
  • New imaging technologies

Read the full blog post here

Artificial Intelligence & Digital Diagnosis

How artificial intelligence could provide some respite for the NHS | The Conversation

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Earlier this month, the  NHS announced plans to trial an artificially intelligent mobile health app to a million people in London. The aim is to help diagnose and treat patients by engaging them in a real time text message conversation which will complement the NHS 111 phone based service.

The NHS app is simple to use and has been likened to using the social messaging service WhatsApp – but with one crucial difference: the conversation takes place with a computer, not a person. Once the app is downloaded, users log their basic health information, and then start explaining their symptoms. The robotic “responder” will say things like: “I just need a few details from you before we get started,” and “nearly there” to keep the conversation going.

Read more via The Conversation

The digital patient: transforming primary care?

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Image source: http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/

This report from The Nuffield Trust reviews the evidence that exists on digital technology and its impact on patients in primary care and the NHS. It explores the impact of seven types of digital services offered by the NHS:

  1. Wearables and monitoring technology
  2. Online triage tools
  3. Online sources of health information and advice, targeted interventions and peer support
  4. Online appointment booking and other transactional services
  5. Remote consultations
  6. Online access to records and care plans
  7. Apps

The report finds that patient-facing technology is already showing promise that it can improve care for patients and reduce strain on the stretched health service – particularly for people with long-term conditions such as diabetes or COPD. However, this rapidly evolving market comes with risks. Many apps, tools and devices have not been officially evaluated, meaning that their effectiveness is unknown. In some cases, technology can increase demand for services, disengage staff and have the potential to disrupt the way that patients access care.

Moreover, the report warns that policy-makers and politicians should avoid assuming that self-care-enabling technology will produce significant savings, at least in the short term.

The report also presents a series of lessons and recommendations to NHS professionals, leaders and policy-makers about how best to harness the potential of technology and avoid the pitfalls.

See also: Why the NHS must tackle digital exclusion | Nuffield Trust

Current and Emerging Anesthesia Technology in 2016

Gálvez, J.A. et al. Anesthesiology News. Published online: October 27 2016

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Image source: Marina Caruso – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

This review focuses on emerging technological developments in anesthesiology that are available in the United States and around the world. Much of this review comes from content presented at the 2016 annual meeting of the Society for Technology in Anesthesia (STA), which can be accessed online at www.stahq.org.

Innovations are included in the areas of:

  • Closed-Loop Systems
  • Quality Measurement and Health Information Exchange
  • Anesthesia Machines
  • Carbon Dioxide Absorber
  • Physiologic Monitors
  • Capnographic Analysis
  • Surgical Blood Loss Monitoring
  • Anesthesia Information Management and Clinical Decision Support Systems
  • Simulation

Read the full article here