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Australian AI innovation saves lives in hospitals
Mon, 29th May 2023

Breakthrough Australian AI technology predicts the deterioration of patients 24 hours in advance, saving lives and improving patient outcomes. 

The new technology, Ainsoff Deterioration Index (ADI), can forecast whether a patient will need intensive care or possibly die more than 24 hours in advance, allowing clinicians the chance to intervene early. 

Using AI, the ADI tracks changes in key health indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, temperature, and renal function. It then delivers tailored alerts to nursing shift coordinators, offering a comprehensive summary of a patient's vital signs, location, and risk of deterioration. 

Two Australian doctors invented the technology, and Australian company Beamtree, an expert in AI healthcare technology, has developed it, 

Prof Jane Andrews, Medical Lead for CALHN GI Services in South Australia, one of four networks participating in international trials in Australia, the UK and Hong Kong, says: "This digital safety prewarning tool is one of the most important innovations I have seen in my 35-year medical career."

"It doesn't replace the normal observations and processes for patient safety in the hospital but provides advanced warning of future deterioration so 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," says Andrews. 

In a ten-month trial at the Sydney Adventist Hospital, the Resuscitation Journal reported that the technology cut major adverse events, including death, by 16% and reduced unplanned admissions to intensive care by more than 20%.

Research also revealed significant improvement in patient haemodynamics (reduction in kidney injury, lower blood pressure and lactic acidosis) and a decrease in hospital stay length by 0.3 days per patient admission. 

Dr Levi Bassin, Heart Surgeon in northern Sydney and Co-Inventor, says: "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."

"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," says Bassin.

With the implementation of ADI, Beamtree says hospitals are evolving into safer, more efficient environments that prioritise patient care and wellbeing. 

Beamtree says that from a clinician's perspective, the tool allows a streamlined workflow, supplying real-time, pertinent data that helps to reduce misdiagnosis and enable prompt action. Also, by mitigating the risk of false alerts, stress is reduced, allowing healthcare providers to focus their attention where it's urgently required. 

This can improve job satisfaction and overall efficacy in the demanding healthcare industry.

It is also suggested that the ADI yields substantial financial returns for hospitals. For example, in a 500-bed hospital, the ADI's ability to reduce the length of patient stays can result in around 5,000 saved bed days annually.  

This significant improvement helps free up space for treating more patients and dramatically reduces operational costs.

Tim Kelsey, CEO of Beamtree, says: "The Ainsoff Deterioration Index is a revolutionary application, a true early warning system that assists clinical teams to intervene early and provide optimal care, ultimately improving patient outcomes."  

"This tool represents the very best of Australian healthcare technology, marking a new chapter in medical innovation."  

"With the Resuscitation Journal's recognition of our clinical trial results, this only underscores our commitment to bringing meaningful change to healthcare and the hospitals we collaborate with across Australia," says Kelsey. 

After the initial 10-month clinical trial, Sydney Adventist Hospital adopted the ADI across the hospital due to its advanced predictive capabilities.  

Brett Goods, CEO of Sydney Adventist Hospital, says: "The Ainsoff Deterioration Index has been transformative for our healthcare delivery."

"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," says Goods. 

Central Adelaide Local Health Network is Australia's first public hospital service to implement the technology.  

Prof Jane Andrews continues: "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."  

"It is an outstanding example of how technology can support the safety and wellbeing of patients," says Andrews.