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article imageGoogle helps to drive paperless healthcare

By Tim Sandle     Nov 27, 2016 in Technology
London - Many health systems remain reliant upon paper records. This leads to problems with security and archive retrieval. One such area is the U.K. health service and here Google are assisting with digitalization.
A pilot project has begun with a hospital that is within the British National Health Service (NHS). Here the Royal Free Hospital, which is based in London, is working with Google’s artificial intelligence subsidiary DeepMind.
DeepMind sets out to lead the way with artificial intelligence research. The company is developing programs designed to solve any complex problem through programs that are ‘self-learning.’
Lee Se-Dol  one of the greatest modern players of the ancient board game Go  speaks during a press c...
Lee Se-Dol, one of the greatest modern players of the ancient board game Go, speaks during a press conference after the second game of the Google DeepMind Challenge Match, in Seoul, on March 10, 2016
Jung Yeon-Je, AFP/File
The work with the NHS, PharmaPhorum reports, is designed to come up with a platform capable of sharing patient data with the aim of improving patient outcomes by providing information about medical conditions. In the one hospital alone it is estimated that some half a million hours per year are spent on paperwork around patient care.
The plan is that over a five year-period, DeepMind will provide healthcare staff with alerts when test results show a patient is at risk of becoming seriously ill. In addition, data and recommendations will be given of appropriate action to take.
The expected outcome is that the platform will reduce healthcare staff response times substantially, sometimes taking things that can take hours to resolve down to a few seconds. It is hoped the time saving, in terms of the time take to deliver the most effective patient treatment, will save lives.
The experimental project is dubbed ‘the Streams project.’ The first development takes the form of an app, which is used to aid the detection of acute kidney injury in the early stages. Here early detection can help to prevent progression to serious illness. The app is registered with the British health regulatory (the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).
In time other apps will be created, such as those covering clinical task management, as well as apps covering other illnesses like sepsis and organ failure. Such apps can also alert clinicians by sending signals to mobile devices.
Then project has raised some issues. New Scientist, for example, has questioned “whether an ethical approval process that covers this kind of data transfer should have been obtained, and raises questions about the basis under which Royal Free is sharing data with Google DeepMind.”
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