AI patient-monitoring tool reduces home visits for UK hospital trust

A National Health Service (NHS) hospital trust in the United Kingdom reduced home visits by using an AI-enabled wearable platform to remotely monitor patients recently released from the hospital, according to a case study.

The study was a part of an effort by the Dartford and Gravesham’s Hospital at Home team to reduce hospital readmissions and emergency room (ER) visits for at-home patients, without jeopardizing their recovery process. The NHS hospital trust partnered with Current, a health technology based in Scotland, to use its AI-powered remote patient monitoring platform.

Last year, a report predicted that AI could be the key to driving down ER visits over the next five years. A Toronto university is also using AI to develop a robot to streamline healthcare delivery and reduce ER wait times at hospitals.

For the study, the hospital selected patients to be sent home with the wearable patient-monitoring devices, which provided the hospital staff with real-time alerts on a patient’s condition. The hope was that the technology would act as an early warning system, help avoid hospitalizations and prioritize patients needs.

With the technology, hospital staff home visits declined 22 percent, freeing up more time and resources for nurses, according to the study. The hospital was also able to prioritize therapy visits to patients who needed it most and reduce ER readmissions. The study also saw 92 percent adherence to the remote monitoring system.

“The value of Current was demonstrated in our very first patient––a chronically unwell patient who suffered a decline in oxygen saturation, which Current detected sooner than standard care would have caught it, letting us intervene earlier and in the patient’s home,” Dartford and Gravesham Chief Information Officer Neil Perry said in a statement. “With Current, we’ve seen the ability to deliver intervention at a far earlier point and prevent hospital readmission.”

“Not only was preventative care made a reality for patients far earlier than standard care expectations, but patients reported feeling safer and more secure wearing the Current device—this is one of the greatest benefits we can ever expect to realize as a team,” Current CEO Christopher McCann said.