NHS hospital joins with Google to cut paperwork

A National Health Service hospital has joined with Google’s artificial intelligence arm, DeepMind, in a project that aims to share patient data in order to save lives.

London’s Royal Free hospital hopes the initiative will save half a million hours per year that are currently spent on paperwork around patient care.

The five-year agreement will provide healthcare staff with alerts when test results show a patient is at risk of becoming seriously ill, and provide the information they need to take action.

This could cut healthcare staff response times from hours to a few seconds – and, if the scheme is adopted throughout the NHS, could reduce the 10,000 people a year who die in hospitals through preventable causes.

The Streams project started just over a year ago and clinicians from the Royal Free have already designed an app to help detect acute kidney injury in its earliest stages, to prevent progression to serious illness and death.

Already registered with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the app will be ready to be deployed early in 2017.

Additional features, such as clinical task management, will be added to support doctors and nurses with patients at risk of other illnesses, such as sepsis and organ failure.

Patient information will be available to clinicians on their mobiles, allowing them to view and update records and assign clinical tasks to each other from them.

The partnership will introduce an ‘unprecedented level of data security and audit’, the hospital said.

All data access is logged, subject to review by hospital administrators and DeepMind Health’s nine independent reviewers.

DeepMind’s software and data centres will undergo in-depth technical audits by experts commissioned by its independent reviewers.

 

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