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NHS and Google partner to treat patients

NHS and Google partner to treat patients

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Google have partnered to share patient data and treat people more efficiently
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Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and Google have partnered to share patient data and treat people more efficiently.

The five-year agreement between the London hospital and Google’s artificial intelligence arm, Deep Mind, will see the development of a mobile clinical application called Streams, which will deliver improved outcomes by getting the right data to the right clinician at the right time.

Like breaking news alerts on a mobile phone, the technology will notify nurses and doctors immediately when test results show a patient is at risk of becoming seriously ill, and provide all the information they need to take action. 

As the technology is developed, the Royal Free London and DeepMind believe Streams will speed up the time to alert nurses and doctors to patients in need, down from hours to a few seconds, helping to reduce the 10,000 people a year who die in UK hospitals through entirely preventable causes.

The app will also free up clinicians’ time from juggling multiple pager, desktop-based and paper systems, redirecting over half a million hours per year towards direct patient care at the Royal Free London. This is the equivalent of having over 150 more nurses focusing on patient care. 

The Royal College of Physicians has reported that two in five doctors in training consider the administrative burden of their jobs to have a serious negative impact on patient safety in their hospital.

Streams technology could substantially reduce this, enabling doctors and nurses at the Royal Free London to redirect an estimated 500,000 hours per year into direct patient care. 

David Sloman, chief executive of the Royal Free London, said: “We are hugely excited by the opportunity this partnership presents to patients and staff. We want to lead the way in healthcare technology and this new clinical app will enable us to provide safer and faster care to patients – which will save lives.

“Doctors and nurses currently spend far too much time on paperwork, and we believe this technology could substantially reduce this burden, enabling doctors and nurses to spend more time on what they do best - treating patients."

The partnership will also introduce an unprecedented level of data security and audit. All data access is logged, and subject to review by the Royal Free London as well as DeepMind Health’s nine Independent Reviewers.

In addition, DeepMind’s software and data centres will undergo deep technical audits by experts commissioned by its Independent Reviewers.

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