Friday, 13 May 2016

AI Patient App Launched at Alder Hey Hospital

Alder Hey

Alder Hey in Partnership with Watson for AI App


The staffs at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool has teamed up with IBM Watson in order to create an app which would be helpful for patients and doctors to work better together. The app would be answering any queries that parents as well as children tend to have regarding their hospital stay. Moreover it will also enable children to create a profile so that clinician will be aware of things like their favourite colour. Later on it could be utilised to provide insights into treatments.

Watson is said to be an AI platform which has been advising doctors on treatment in a dozen cancer hospitals in the US, searching through data and it can read 40 million documents in a matter of 15 seconds and would be offering insights into probable treatment.

It could ultimately do similar things at Alder Hey though has started with more simple patient/doctor app, which has been designed to make the hospital visits function more smoothly. The hospital has been working with the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Councils’- STFCHartree Centre to develop the app.

Helping Patients/Families before Coming to Hospital


Hundreds of Alder Hey patients together with their parents will be asked a range of questions on everything from parking, to what they would like to eat, to their favourite games and films and what they want their bedroom to look like, for the next few months.

Besides this, they would also be asked what questions they have regarding clinical procedures, general anaesthetic as well as surgery. A team of experts from IBM and the Hartree Centre will be utilising this information to train `Watson’ in anticipating and responding to questions from patients and families before they tend to come in the hospital.

A paediatric surgeon and director of innovation at Alder Hey, Mr Iain Hennessey, informed BBC that `helping the patients and their families prepare properly to come into the hospital could reduce their anxiety and would mean that they can get them better and return home faster.

He adds that `so much of medicine is about looking after people and is roughly a third of what is done and it is a neglected part. How we communicate with patients has not changed much over the last 100 years. A leaflet is seen as cutting edge and website of patient information is award-winning’.

AI App – First Project of IBM/STFC Hartree


He stated that later on, the platform may offer `more hard-core diagnostic but informed that governance around using patient data was a nightmare. He wanted to get this off the ground faster and utilising patient records in time consuming, is costly and could cause debate.

Alder Hey is well-known for caring and that is what he wants to build on. The future application would comprise of summaries of patient notes, spotting trends all over the hospital and the AI could also be utilised in providing treatment as well as care options. Paul Chong, IBM’s European director for Watson had stated that he was thrilled to see IBM Watson technology applied to help doctors and the patients in an attempt to enhance the lives of children together with their families.

The AI app is said to be one of the first project that has come out of a wide-ranging £315 million partnership between IBM and STFC Hartree. Contributions from the US tech giant are £200 million while the government has pledged £115 million for research in big data applications. IBM has stated that patients can provide feedback through the app on a voluntary basis.

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