At present, it’s difficult to name an area of industry that hasn’t been impacted by AI.
A 2020 report by Deloitte found that 78% of UK businesses had either already implemented AI, or planned to do so within the next two years; so, it will likely come as no surprise that healthcare – one of the most dynamic and progressive industries in the world – has begun to feel its benefit.
AI is significantly influencing medicine in the UK, with applications across a wide range of disciplines.
From analysing medical images to identifying patterns in healthcare data, AI has delivered strong advantages across diagnostics, treatment planning, drug discovery and medical outcomes, underlined by its ability to extract human error and inject greater accuracy.
For example, an AI-based predictive analytics tool was recently developed to forecast the risk of patient deterioration. According to the Journal of Medical Systems, the tool analysed patient data - including vital signs, laboratory results, and medication records - to predict which patients were most likely to deteriorate and require intervention.
The study reported that the AI tool achieved 82% accuracy in predicting patient decline, which was significantly higher than the precision of existing ‘early warning’ score systems. The authors of the study suggested that the tool could help clinicians to prioritise patients for interventions and reduce the incidence of adverse outcomes, putting AI firmly at the forefront of patient care.
AI isn’t just a treatment and research tool, of course. It has many functions to complement day-to-day ward activity, including the improvement of infection control.
Infection risks can’t be eliminated – only controlled. Thanks to AI, the management of these risks can be vastly improved – both during everyday care activities, and at an organisational level.
- Monitoring hand hygiene. By using sensors and computer vision to detect when healthcare workers enter or leave patient rooms, AI can analyse data to determine whether hand hygiene was performed as required – such as before and after patient contact. This helps identify areas where compliance is low, so that staff can be reminded of the importance of hand hygiene and provided with additional training if necessary.
- Identifying high-risk patients. AI algorithms are being used to analyse patient data - such as age, medical history, and current symptoms - to identify those who are most at risk of developing infections. This allows hospitals to take proactive measures, such as isolating patients or providing additional monitoring, to prevent the spread of dangerous HCAIs.
- Predicting outbreaks. By monitoring patterns of infection across different wards and departments, AI can be used as a primary line of defence when identifying early warning signs of outbreaks. This allows hospitals to take swift action to prevent the spread of infection, such as increasing cleaning protocols and restricting visitor access.
- Cleaning optimisation. By analysing data on patient admissions, discharges and current HCAI infections, AI can determine which areas of a hospital are most at risk of infection - and then schedule cleaning and disinfection accordingly. This helps ensure that high-risk areas receive the most attention, stopping the spread of infection in its tracks.
Overall, it’s clear that AI could have a transformative impact on infection control. However, it’s vital that these technologies are developed and used in a responsible manner, with appropriate safeguards in place to guarantee the reliability of AI-powered systems.
By pairing AI technology with other pioneering advancements, infection control can be enhanced to all-new levels.
DDC Dolphin are specialists in smart technology which perfectly complements AI infection control innovation.
- The Pulpmatic Eco+ macerator. Featuring enhanced chemical dosing, powerful antimicrobial surfaces and fully hands-free operation, this sluice machine is the most hygienic pulp macerator on the market – and an essential defence against infections spread by human waste.
- Hygenex® Vacumatic®. Vacumatic assists your waste disposal process by sanitising and hermetically sealing dirty waste bags. This eliminates exposure to any potential viruses and bacteria, as well as destroying tell-tale odour at its source.
- UVMATIC® and UVMATIC® Plus Air Purification Systems. Completely automated and chemical free, the UVMATIC® and UVMATIC® Plus draw in polluted air and treat it using UV light and photocatalytic oxidation. The technology is proven to destroy viruses such as influenza - as well as E. coli, salmonella and similar bacteria.
- Online portal for real-time asset management reporting. Asset management is essential to ensure that your sluice room machinery is protecting patients and clinicians as intended. With DDC Dolphin’s enhanced asset management tools, users can see the full information on repairs, callouts and reports - without the need to get in touch with an account manager.
The leading-edge technology from DDC Dolphin will empower you to maximise your infection control strategy – whether alone, or in conjunction with the latest AI tools.