Aust AI tool warns of patient deterioration


Friday, 09 June, 2023

Aust AI tool warns of patient deterioration

An Australian-developed AI tool uses advanced machine-learning technology to read a patient’s vital signs and predict the likelihood of unexpected and sudden deterioration in a patient’s condition. Tracking a patient’s health in real time, the Ainsoff Deterioration Index (ADI) has reduced adverse events and the length of time patients have to stay in hospital, according to new research.

“This digital safety pre-warning tool is one of the most important innovations I have seen in my 35-year medical career,” said Prof Jane Andrews, Medical Lead for Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) GI Services in South Australia, one of four networks participating in international trials of the tool in Australia, the UK and Hong Kong.

“It doesn’t replace the normal observations and processes for patient safety in hospital but provides advanced warning of future deterioration so that clinicians can act before a patient becomes seriously unwell. This gives us the chance to avoid deterioration, instead of simply responding once it has occurred.”

Invented by two Australian doctors and developed by Australian company Beamtree, the ADI dynamically tracks changes in key health indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, temperature and renal function. It delivers tailored alerts to nursing shift coordinators, offering a comprehensive summary of a patient’s vital signs, their location and their risk of deterioration.

A paper published in the international medical journal Resuscitation reported that the technology reduced adverse events by 16.7% (includes death and emergency response activation) and reduced unplanned admissions to intensive care by more than 20% in a 10-month trial at the Sydney Adventist Hospital. It also reported significant improvement in patient haemodynamics (reduction in kidney injury, lower blood pressure and lactic acidosis) and a reduction in hospital stay length by 0.3 days per patient admission.

Image caption: Dr Levi Bassin, co-inventor of ADI. Image: Supplied

“Traditional early-warning systems lack the capability to monitor trends and can only provide a snapshot of a patient’s health at a particular point in time,” said Dr Levi Bassin, a heart surgeon in northern Sydney and one of the co-inventors. “We’re thrilled that the Resuscitation journal has published these results, which underscore the potency of the Ainsoff Deterioration Index in predicting patient deterioration, enabling clinical teams to intervene sooner and save lives.”

After the initial 10-month clinical trial, Sydney Adventist Hospital adopted the ADI across the hospital. “The Ainsoff Deterioration Index has been transformative for our healthcare delivery,” said Brett Goods, Sydney Adventist Hospital CEO. “It has substantially improved the way we monitor patient health, providing early and accurate predictions of patient risk. This tool has already made a substantial impact in our hospital, reducing the length of hospital stays and significantly enhancing patient safety.”

Central Adelaide Local Health Network, which manages the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth hospitals, is the first public hospital service in Australia to implement the technology. “This technology is empowering for staff because once they receive an alert they can immediately see why the scoring tool was triggered and assess the patient appropriately,” Andrews said. “It is an outstanding example of how technology can support the safety and wellbeing of patients.”

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