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Home Industry News AI Clinician demonstrates superior treatment planning skills

AI Clinician demonstrates superior treatment planning skills

16th November 2018

Sepsis can cause a life-threatening drop in blood pressure, and kills approximately 44,000 people in the UK each year. Scientists at Imperial College London have developed technology using artificial intelligence to set treatment plans for sepsis patients which they plans to trial in UK hospitals. They claim that the decisions made are more reliable than those made by conventional doctors.
The AI Clinician analysed the records of about 100,000 hospital sepsis patients together with decisions made by doctors, to learn the best treatment strategy for patients and create their own treatment plans. Researchers then compared AI decisions with doctors’ decisions to ascertain whether AI Clinician could have made different decisions that could have improved patient outcomes. The AI technology was as good as or better than doctors’ decisions 98% of the time, and there were fewer deaths in patients where the doctor’s doses of fluids and vasopressor matched the AI system’s suggestion. However, when the doctor’s treatment strategy that was followed was not the same as that of the AI system, the survival chance for the patient was lower.
Dr Aldo Faisal, senior author from the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Computing at Imperial College, said: “Sepsis is one of the biggest killers in the UK, and claims six million lives worldwide, so we desperately need new tools at our disposal to help patients. At Imperial, we believe that AI for healthcare is the solution. Our new AI system was able to analyse a patient’s data, such as blood pressure and heart rate, and decide the best treatment strategy.” He also said that the technology could have applications for the delivery of cancer therapies.
Professor Anthony Gordon, senior author from the Department of Surgery & Cancer at Imperial College, said: “We know that most patients with sepsis need fluid drips and in more severe cases also need vasopressors to maintain blood pressure and blood flow. There is still much debate amongst clinicians about how much fluid to give and when to start vasopressors. There are clinical guidelines but they provide general advice. The AI Clinician is able to learn what is the best option for each individual patient at that moment in time.”

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