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New study will use artificial intelligence to improve treatments for people with multiple long-term conditions

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The NIHR has awarded £2.5 million for new research led by the University of Birmingham that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to produce computer programmes and tools that will help doctors improve the choice of drugs in patients with clusters of multiple long-term conditions. Called the OPTIMAL study (OPTIMising therapies, discovering therapeutic targets and AI assisted clinical management for patients Living with complex multimorbidity), the research aims to understand how different combinations of long-term conditions and the medicines taken for these diseases interact over time to worsen or improve a patient's health. The study will be led by Dr Thomas Jackson and Professor Krish Nirantharakumar at the University of Birmingham and carried out in collaboration with the University of Manchester, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, University of St Andrews,and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. An estimated 14 million people in England are living with two or more long-term conditions, with two-thirds of adults aged over 65 expected to be living with multiple long-term conditions by 2035. Dr Thomas Jackson, Associate Professor in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Birmingham, said: "Currently when people have multiple long-term conditions, we treat each disease separately. This means we prescribe a different drug for each condition, which may not help people with complex multimorbidity which is a term we use when patients have four or more long-term health problem. "A drug for one disease can make another disease worse or better, however, presently we do not have information on the effect of one drug on a second disease.


Scientists are developing a test to accurately predict your death

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A visit to the doctors could tell you any number of things about your health such as if you're blood pressure is too high, or if you need to cut down on your drinking. But in the future this could reach even further, extending to a simple computer test that could predict when you will die. Researchers in the UK are embarking on a mammoth project which aims to bring together enormous datasets to pinpoint exactly when your number might be up. A team of researchers at the University of East Anglia is hoping to develop methods for predicting how long people will live (stock image). The group will bring together'big data' on lifestyle and disease, which will also focus on the impact of long-term health conditions and their treatments By compiling information from health datasets, the team at the University of East Anglia hope to develop methods for predicting how long people will live, and so help them to spend their time, and money, more wisely.


Big data analysis accurately predicts patient survival from heart failure

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Heart failure is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, costing healthcare systems worldwide more than $30 billion annually. Current approaches to treatment are limited by crude clinical assessments of the disease. In a new study, Yale researchers have successfully used big data methods to improve prediction of heart failure patient survival. They also described data-driven categories of patients that are distinct in their response to commonly used therapies. This innovative approach, detailed in the Journal of the American Heart Association, could lead to better care for this incurable chronic condition, the researchers said.


Microsoft Research launches a center for creating projects that can have real-world societal impact

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Microsoft Research India has announced the launch of a center for Societal impact through Cloud and Artificial Intelligence (SCAI). Part of the Microsoft Research (MSR) Lab in Bengaluru, SCAI will focus on creating and nurturing projects and transitioning them from lab to scale for real-world impact. "There are so many opportunities to leverage recent advances in cloud computing and AI technologies to address long-term societal challenges spanning multiple sectors and realms, including health and wellness, education, transportation, and agriculture," said Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow and Director at Microsoft Research. SCAI will engage with NGOs, academicians, and startups through external collaborations; graduate and undergraduate students through the SCAI Fellow program in collaboration; and actively seek collaborators through calls for proposals. To start with, Microsoft is currently working with four organizations – Respirer Living Sciences for a project focusing on urban air pollution, NIMHANS for a project on mental health, Pratham Books for assisted translation system which enables children to read storybooks in multiple languages, and Voicedeck Technologies for Learn2Earn, a program which reinforces education and rewards learning through financial incentives.


How can robots help us investigate the places we have difficulty reaching?

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Has Covid-19 started to change our attitude to robots and artificial intelligence? Researchers at Heriot-Watt University think so and are working on cutting-edge techniques to ensure a safer world for us all, with the robots doing more of the dirty and dangerous jobs. Professor Helen Hastie, director of the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Robotics and Autonomous Systems, says: "At Heriot-Watt, we have been working on getting robots to go into hazardous places where people can't or don't want to go, such as offshore or deep underwater. "During the current crisis, a general awareness of the utility of robots has grown, and people can see where robots might be useful in cases when human interventions are now discouraged. This can be in particular'hot-zones' that need to be avoided by people, such as homes of those shielding, and hospitals." One example of Heriot-Watt's ambition is the SPRING project, where robots are designed to reduce stress and loneliness and improve ...