AI-powered refrigerators and kettles have helped reduce patient readmissions in the UK. “Smart” devices monitored the behavior of the pilot’s participants.
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) Onward Care pilot project has reduced hospital readmissions by 77% using artificial intelligence (AI) technology, The Financial Times reports.
|About 140 people recently discharged from hospital took part in the 12-week pilot. They used refrigerators and kettles with AI that tracked their behavior. If changes in eating or drinking patterns were detected, the devices alerted medical staff. Assistance was provided when the risk of readmission increased. For example, patients could be offered food rations, a doctor could be called to their home, and volunteers could be recruited to help those who had difficulty walking or felt lonely.
Also, as part of the project, participants were provided with a Monica device, similar to the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. It is installed in homes, analyzes human activity (number of steps taken, time spent in each room) and gives hints in case of deviation from the norm.
According to rough estimates, the rate of readmission among frail patients today is 40%.
UK authorities are increasingly using AI to reduce the burden on the healthcare system, which will only grow as the country’s population ages. A small number of hospitals have already begun using AI tools to help analyze X-rays, manage appointments and provide referrals. In addition, speech recognition technologies are gradually being introduced, thanks to which medical professionals can take notes.