Google’s artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust have joined forces, with the intention of going paperless by creating technology to handle patient information more effectively.
Rumours surrounding a potential partnership first came to light in June when a Memorandum of Understanding was discovered between the two parties, highlighting areas the pairing would potentially work to cover.
Now official, the five-year deal will aim to build on the year-long joint Streams project – a smartphone app which ‘alerts clinical teams as soon as test results show that a patient is at risk of developing acute kidney injury’. All data will be encrypted and not shared with Google, despite its ownership of DeepMind.
The partnership intends to expand the app to cover other illnesses where early intervention is important, as well looking at how Streams could be used to help patients with other major ailments such as sepsis and organ failure.
DeepMind suggests that slow and outdated technology has meant that changes to patient’s conditions do not reach the clinicians in time to prevent further serious illness. It claims ‘some 40 per cent of patients could avoid being admitted to intensive care, if the right clinician was able to take the right action sooner’, which is exactly what its solution is aiming to achieve.