Using AI to prevent and predict operational issues such as equipment failure, infrastructure or logistical problems

Posted on January 11

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The HIN works with a number of innovators which could potentially support the health and social care sector. Here is Ash Kalraiya, orthopaedic surgeon and the Founder and CEO of Medishout, the world’s first platform to integrate all logistical departments, giving clinicians an app that uses AI to enable them to instantly report issues and predict future problems. In June 2020 it was awarded a Innovate UK Grant of £50,000 to help support NHS hospitals during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Problem

Healthcare staff rely on functioning equipment, logistics and infrastructure to treat patients. During the Covid-19 pandemic for example, the need for ventilators and PPE, has been even more pressing. When things go wrong, there are no simple ways for staff to report and resolve problems as communication channels are limited. Poor data-collection also prevents long-term transformational change.

The founding of MediShout was quite literally a light bulb moment! I am a surgeon and one morning I was forced to cancel three operations because of a failing light bulb in the theatre. This is sadly not an uncommon situation. In the UK, even before Covid-19, there had been a 32 per cent increase in cancelled operations owing to issues such as faulty equipment[i]. The Nursing Times reported that a third of nurses waste up to two hours per shift just looking for missing kit[ii].

 

The Solution

The technology solves the above problem in three ways:

1) Medishout App
This is the first App in healthcare to combine all operational departments, giving staff a “one-stop” shop to resolve any issue eg stock, equipment, IT, estates, facilities. Staff select their ward, type their issue, add a photo and press Shout. The information is sent to those who fix the problem, such as managers, helpdesks or equipment suppliers while the staff member gets status updates in real-time.

2) Data- Collection
The app uses the inputted data to improve efficiency as when staff report an issue they also state how much time was wasted and what the clinical impact was. This enables hospitals to triage and prioritise the issues most impacting care.

3) AI-Analysis
In 2020, MediShout won an Innovate UK grant which enabled further development of AI algorithms, which can predict in advance problems occurring in hospitals. For example, the team predicted when medical devices would fail, such as ECG machines or ventilators. This technology enables hospitals to prevent problems from even occurring, thus keeping clinical services running smoothly.

Independent healthcare economists, Health Enterprise East, calculated that MediShout can save NHS Trusts £1million per annum in efficiency savings. Some Trusts are already seeing the benefits:

  • Watford General Hospital at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has saved 15 minutes of staff time daily and improved staff morale[iii].
  • Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust improved PPE allocation during Covid-19 as published in the Journal of mHealth[iv].
  • Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust has staff digitally completing their Covid-19 risk-assessments on the MediShout App so that they can be allocated to wards that are safe for them to work in.
  • Addenbrookes Hospital at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are using AI to predict when medical equipment would break down as part of the Innovate UK grant project.

We are looking to develop the platform further to encourage engagement from the public and to this end are working with Royal Papworth Hospital, providing QR codes in communal areas for patients and visitors to scan, and report issues they see.

[i] https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nhs-operations-cancelled-tens-thousands-official-figures-tories-damage-labour-a9183636.html
[ii] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7881807.stm
[iii] https://view.joomag.com/the-journal-of-mhealth-vol-3-issue-5-oct-nov/0548692001477489694?page=42
[iv] https://thejournalofmhealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/The-Journal-of-mHealth-7-4-Jul-Aug-RGBP-EP.pdf

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If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with Ash Kalraiya, Founder & CEO of MediShout.

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