VA, DeepMind partner to predict patient deterioration

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) have announced a partnership with DeepMind, the artificial intelligence (AI) section of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, to reduce the rates of patient deterioration during hospital stays.

“Medicine is more than treating patients’ problems,” said VA Secretary David J. Shulkin. “Clinicians need to be able to identify risks to help prevent disease. This collaboration is an opportunity to advance the quality of care for our nation’s veterans by predicting deterioration and applying interventions early.”

Accounting for 11 percent of global in-hospital deaths, patient deterioration could be easily preventable if detected early. Through this partnership, the organizations will focus on identifying patterns from 700,000 historical, de-personalized health records to develop machine learning algorithms capable of predicting the onset and identifying risk factors for patient deterioration. The initial focus of the partnership will focus on pinpointing the common signs of risk, like acute kidney injury, before applying the algorithm in identifying other signs of deterioration.

“We are proud to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs on this important challenge,” said Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind. “This project has great potential intelligently to detect and prevent deterioration before patients show serious signs of illness. Speed is vital when a patient is deteriorating: The sooner the right information reaches the right clinician, the sooner the patient can be given the right care.”