Google-owned DeepMind signs up yet another NHS Trust as a partner
The Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust has partnered with Google-owned artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind to develop a patient-focused mobile app.
Musgrove Park Hospital will implement and develop DeepMind’s Streams clinical app to help improve patient safety by making all relevant information such as blood test and X-ray results available in one place.
It can also be used to alert doctors and nurses to any patients needing immediate assessment and will help them rapidly assess the severity of the patient’s condition.
The partnership is part of the hospital’s initiative to improve its use of technology or, to put it in buzzword terms, a ‘digital transformation’ strategy for the healthcare industry.
The app uses algorithms to process patient information in order to raise safety alerts when necessary, using only information that is already available to hospital staff.
Mr Tom Edwards, consultant surgeon at Musgrove Park Hospital, said: “Fast access to information about patients is absolutely crucial for our doctors, nurses, and other clinical staff.
“Safety alerts will be immensely useful, but it is important to remember that – whatever technology we use – it will still be our highly trained and expert staff who are making decisions about diagnosis, treatment and patient care.”
The Trust will be holding a series of workshops and open day events over the coming weeks so that members of staff and the public can see how the app works, what it will mean for patients and possible future developments.
“This is all about early detection of seriously unwell patients so that we can immediately escalate care, ensure a very rapid response, and make sure they are treated quickly by the right specialist doctor,” said Dr Luke Gompels, a consultant in medicine at Musgrove Park. “In this way we can make more of a difference, more quickly.”
Musgrove Park is not the only hospital to have joined forced with DeepMind. Both the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust have partnered with the company with the aim of improving patient care.
However, the Royal Free deal has been roundly criticised regarding alleged issues of transparency and data sharing procedures.