Breakthroughs in tech-driven healthcare under the lens at Health Informatics NZ conference
From saving lives to predicting mortality and supporting resource-poor healthcare organisations, technology is transforming our health.
Healthcare providers from across New Zealand have gathered in Wellington for the annual Health Informatics New Zealand conference (November 21-23), the country’s largest health symposium, to hear from some of the world’s top innovators in the sector, whose work is now changing local healthcare models.
Seattle-based KenSci is using machine learning to assist physicians and care managers to predict pre-diabetes and diabetes risk and help with patient flow by predicting the patient length of stay, risk of readmission and the likely effect of their situation at discharge on their prognosis. This assists healthcare organisations to provide better palliative care to patients in their final days and helps patients with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) avoid health crises.
KenSci Chief Technology Officer and co-founder Professor Ankur Teredesai presented sessions on how his company is using machine learning to enable better patient care and improved healthcare outcomes from Seattle to Scotland to Singapore.
“In Scotland, our partners at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are set to use our machine learning models to assess thousands of COPD patients for risk. We aim to optimise their length of stay at A & E and improve outcomes for those with complications that exacerbate their COPD by referring them to community care,” said Teredesai.
“Our aim is to move Artificial Intelligence towards Assistive Intelligence, where machine learning helps healthcare organisations improve patient flow, reduce unwarranted variation and create systemic improvements.“
Local KenSci Director Will Barnett said he was looking forward to bringing the Assistive Intelligence model home and working closely with partners and DHBs to create locally targeted AI solutions built in New Zealand, for New Zealand.
The benefits of going digital were emphasised by Lloyd McCann, CEO of Auckland’s Mercy Radiology and Clinics and Head of Digital Health for Healthcare Holdings Limited. In a joint speech with David Howden, Head of Cloud at Microsoft Cloud solutions provider Umbrellar, he discussed various applications used by private healthcare providers around New Zealand. Mercy, Aceso and Umbrellar have built an advanced analytics dashboard which uses machine learning for predictive analysis.
Analysing factors such as which doctors are best at referring patients to specialists, which machines have the highest use, and many other elements relating to the business, the dashboard is enabling Mercy to optimise its deployment of resources and reach more patients.
“If we want healthcare service delivery to be consistent across the country, and we want to provide the best value to patients, we need to embrace digital technology,” McCann said.
“We need to address cultural barriers to change in the sector. Data, information and intelligence will help us drive this cultural transformation.”
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