Google DeepMind now alerts UK doctors of timely medical interventions that can save lives

DeepMind has entered a five year partnership with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.


Google owned DeepMind has announced partnership with the National Health Services in the UK to develop information technology products directly coordinating with medical professionals and understanding their needs. DeepMind has entered a five year partnership with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

The medical professionals have to juggle multiple systems, and still use outdated technologies such as pagers, paper reports and fax machines. The top down IT-solutions currently deployed are developed far away from the field. Changes in the condition of a patient undergoing treatment does not always reach the right professionals at the right time. Over ten thousand patients in the UK die every year from preventable causes, and 40 percent fewer patients would be admitted to critical care units if they would have been administered the right treatment in a timely manner.

This is where DeepMind comes in. It ensures that the right patient information is delivered to the right professionals, to reduce the number of preventable deaths. Over the course of a year, DeepMind engineers have developed and perfected a smartphone app called Streams. Streams tracks medical tests as and when they come in, and alerts clinical teams if it identifies a risk of the patient developing acute kidney injury (AKI). The prototype testing phase has been completed, and the application has been registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Streams will be available to clinicians from early 2017.

A streamlined app for medical alerts means that the clinicians are spending their time better, and delivering critical healthcare to the patients that need it the most. About half a million man hours are expected to be saved in administration, where the clinician juggles multiple logins to services, paper reports, and pager alerts. Patients stand to benefit with more time being available to medical staff for direct healthcare.

DeepMind plans to expand the capabilities of the application over the course of the next five years, to include more conditions where early intervention can save lives. Early detection of the risk of organ failure caused due to sepsis or other reasons is planned. The app will detect deterioration that is difficult for clinicians to catch. The infrastructure for streams is based on state of the art interoperable standards, which means that the NHS can easily integrate services from third party developers into the application.

DeepMind is using artificial intelligence to address some of the toughest challenges facing society. Last month, DeepMind started learning on its own, gaining information and understanding from external data sources. DeepMind monitors power usage in Google Data Centers to reduce the power used by about forty percent. In March this year, DeepMind famously defeated Go champion Lee Sedol, an intuitive game that has historically been a challenge for artificial intelligences. Since then DeepMind has moved on to tackle Starcraft.

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