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New AI Software Could Reduce Patient Time at Hospitals

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 05 Jul 2018
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Image: An AI health monitoring solution aims to reduce the time spent in hospitals and healthcare centers by Canadians affected by chronic illnesses (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Image: An AI health monitoring solution aims to reduce the time spent in hospitals and healthcare centers by Canadians affected by chronic illnesses (Photo courtesy of iStock).
Canadian researchers have developed an innovative "virtual assistant" — an Artificial Intelligence (AI) health monitoring solution for an existing secure health monitoring platform — to help patients, their healthcare providers, and caregivers remotely manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure. The virtual assistant, developed by the National Research Council of Canada {Ottawa, Canada; (NRC)} and Greybox Solutions Inc. (Quebec, Canada) aims to reduce the considerable time spent in hospitals and healthcare centers by millions of Canadians affected by chronic illnesses.

Using the virtual assistant, patients can educate themselves and manage their own progress from home, while supporting healthcare professionals in triage procedures. The virtual assistant can guide patients through tasks to collect medical data such as health parameters and lifestyle habits, and provide adaptive information based on the patient's emotional and physical state.

In addition to helping patients maintain a healthier lifestyle, the virtual assistant provides data and personalized recommendations to healthcare professionals, leading to more quality time with doctors during visits instead of time spent filling in forms. In the case of patients with diseases that require specific and rigorous monitoring, such as diabetes and heart conditions, the virtual assistant is programmed to ask personalized questions targeted to the patient's condition. Data from these interactions is gathered, analyzed, organized, and displayed to healthcare professionals in a user-friendly manner, providing them with pertinent patient information on a regular basis.

Greybox, and its clinical partners located across Canada, plan to launch the diabetes, hypertension, and heart failure virtual assistant programs in several hospitals for commercial deployment late in 2018.

“We are proud to participate in this collaboration to provide an accessible digital health monitoring tool for improving the health of Canadians, especially those in remote regions or with reduced mobility,” said Dr. Roman Szumski, Vice-President of Life Sciences at the National Research Council of Canada. “The National Research Council's dedicated and recognized medical devices experts are creating virtual assistant applications that empower patients while creating regular and essential data transfer to their health professionals for more efficient health monitoring.”

“We are pleased to be able to count on the National Research Council's expertise to expand our offer to other healthcare areas,” said Pierre Bérubé, Founder and CEO, Greybox Solutions Inc.

“Their expertise in the artificial intelligence field and biomedical software engineering, as well as their access to clinicians to guide the development of a product, is a distinct advantage when it comes to developing a product that meets a specific need.”

Related Links:
National Research Council of Canada
Greybox Solutions

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