Collaborating Authors


Google is shutting down controversial data-sharing project with NHS

New Scientist

Google plans to shut down its controversial Streams app, which analysed medical record information and aimed to improve monitoring of vital signs and other tests to improve care. The tech company's AI subsidiary, DeepMind, first announced in February 2016 that it was working with the National Health Service (NHS) trusts to analyse patient data. The company intended to combine machine learning with bulk medical data to develop models that could predict or diagnose acute kidney injury.

Towards a fairer reimbursement system for burn patients using cost-sensitive classification Machine Learning

The adoption of the Prospective Payment System (PPS) in the UK National Health Service (NHS) has led to the creation of patient groups called Health Resource Groups (HRG). HRGs aim to identify groups of clinically similar patients that share similar resource usage for reimbursement purposes. These groups are predominantly identified based on expert advice, with homogeneity checked using the length of stay (LOS). However, for complex patients such as those encountered in burn care, LOS is not a perfect proxy of resource usage, leading to incomplete homogeneity checks. To improve homogeneity in resource usage and severity, we propose a data-driven model and the inclusion of patient-level costing. We investigate whether a data-driven approach that considers additional measures of resource usage can lead to a more comprehensive model. In particular, a cost-sensitive decision tree model is adopted to identify features of importance and rules that allow for a focused segmentation on resource usage (LOS and patient-level cost) and clinical similarity (severity of burn). The proposed approach identified groups with increased homogeneity compared to the current HRG groups, allowing for a more equitable reimbursement of hospital care costs if adopted.

Dive into Deep Learning Artificial Intelligence

Just a few years ago, there were no legions of deep learning scientists developing intelligent products and services at major companies and startups. When the youngest among us (the authors) entered the field, machine learning did not command headlines in daily newspapers. Our parents had no idea what machine learning was, let alone why we might prefer it to a career in medicine or law. Machine learning was a forward-looking academic discipline with a narrow set of real-world applications. And those applications, e.g., speech recognition and computer vision, required so much domain knowledge that they were often regarded as separate areas entirely for which machine learning was one small component. Neural networks then, the antecedents of the deep learning models that we focus on in this book, were regarded as outmoded tools. In just the past five years, deep learning has taken the world by surprise, driving rapid progress in fields as diverse as computer vision, natural language processing, automatic speech recognition, reinforcement learning, and statistical modeling. With these advances in hand, we can now build cars that drive themselves with more autonomy than ever before (and less autonomy than some companies might have you believe), smart reply systems that automatically draft the most mundane emails, helping people dig out from oppressively large inboxes, and software agents that dominate the worldʼs best humans at board games like Go, a feat once thought to be decades away. Already, these tools exert ever-wider impacts on industry and society, changing the way movies are made, diseases are diagnosed, and playing a growing role in basic sciences--from astrophysics to biology.

Approximate Bayesian Computation for an Explicit-Duration Hidden Markov Model of COVID-19 Hospital Trajectories Machine Learning

We address the problem of modeling constrained hospital resources in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to inform decision-makers of future demand and assess the societal value of possible interventions. For broad applicability, we focus on the common yet challenging scenario where patient-level data for a region of interest are not available. Instead, given daily admissions counts, we model aggregated counts of observed resource use, such as the number of patients in the general ward, in the intensive care unit, or on a ventilator. In order to explain how individual patient trajectories produce these counts, we propose an aggregate count explicit-duration hidden Markov model, nicknamed the ACED-HMM, with an interpretable, compact parameterization. We develop an Approximate Bayesian Computation approach that draws samples from the posterior distribution over the model's transition and duration parameters given aggregate counts from a specific location, thus adapting the model to a region or individual hospital site of interest. Samples from this posterior can then be used to produce future forecasts of any counts of interest. Using data from the United States and the United Kingdom, we show our mechanistic approach provides competitive probabilistic forecasts for the future even as the dynamics of the pandemic shift. Furthermore, we show how our model provides insight about recovery probabilities or length of stay distributions, and we suggest its potential to answer challenging what-if questions about the societal value of possible interventions.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence research for patient benefit: 20 critical questions on transparency, replicability, ethics, and effectiveness


Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other modern statistical methods are providing new opportunities to operationalise previously untapped and rapidly growing sources of data for patient benefit. Despite much promising research currently being undertaken, particularly in imaging, the literature as a whole lacks transparency, clear reporting to facilitate replicability, exploration for potential ethical concerns, and clear demonstrations of effectiveness. Among the many reasons why these problems exist, one of the most important (for which we provide a preliminary solution here) is the current lack of best practice guidance specific to machine learning and artificial intelligence. However, we believe that interdisciplinary groups pursuing research and impact projects involving machine learning and artificial intelligence for health would benefit from explicitly addressing a series of questions concerning transparency, reproducibility, ethics, and effectiveness (TREE). The 20 critical questions proposed here provide a framework for research groups to inform the design, conduct, and reporting; for editors and peer reviewers to evaluate contributions to the literature; and for patients, clinicians and policy makers to critically appraise where new findings may deliver patient benefit. Machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and other modern statistical methods are providing new opportunities to operationalise previously untapped and rapidly growing sources of data for patient benefit. The potential uses include improving diagnostic accuracy,1 more reliably predicting prognosis,2 targeting treatments,3 and increasing the operational efficiency of health systems.4 Examples of potentially disruptive technology with early promise include image based diagnostic applications of ML/AI, which have shown the most early clinical promise (eg, deep learning based algorithms improving accuracy in diagnosing retinal pathology compared with that of specialist physicians5), or natural language processing used as a tool to extract information from structured and unstructured (that is, free) text embedded in electronic health records.2 Although we are only just …

Towards a framework for evaluating the safety, acceptability and efficacy of AI systems for health: an initial synthesis Artificial Intelligence

The potential presented by Artificial Intelligence (AI) for healthcare has long been recognised by the technical community. More recently, this potential has been recognised by policymakers, resulting in considerable public and private investment in the development of AI for healthcare across the globe. Despite this, excepting limited success stories, real-world implementation of AI systems into front-line healthcare has been limited. There are numerous reasons for this, but a main contributory factor is the lack of internationally accepted, or formalised, regulatory standards to assess AI safety and impact and effectiveness. This is a well-recognised problem with numerous ongoing research and policy projects to overcome it. Our intention here is to contribute to this problem-solving effort by seeking to set out a minimally viable framework for evaluating the safety, acceptability and efficacy of AI systems for healthcare. We do this by conducting a systematic search across Scopus, PubMed and Google Scholar to identify all the relevant literature published between January 1970 and November 2020 related to the evaluation of: output performance; efficacy; and real-world use of AI systems, and synthesising the key themes according to the stages of evaluation: pre-clinical (theoretical phase); exploratory phase; definitive phase; and post-market surveillance phase (monitoring). The result is a framework to guide AI system developers, policymakers, and regulators through a sufficient evaluation of an AI system designed for use in healthcare.

Forecasting COVID-19 Counts At A Single Hospital: A Hierarchical Bayesian Approach Machine Learning

We consider the problem of forecasting the daily number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients at a single hospital site, in order to help administrators with logistics and planning. We develop several candidate hierarchical Bayesian models which directly capture the count nature of data via a generalized Poisson likelihood, model time-series dependencies via autoregressive and Gaussian process latent processes, and can share statistical strength across related sites. We demonstrate our approach on public datasets for 8 hospitals in Massachusetts, U.S.A. and 10 hospitals in the United Kingdom. Further prospective evaluation compares our approach favorably to baselines currently used by stakeholders at 3 related hospitals to forecast 2-week-ahead demand by rescaling state-level forecasts. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented demand for limited hospital resources across the globe. Emergency resource allocation decisions made by hospital administrators (such as planning additional personnel or provisioning beds and equipment) are crucial for achieving successful patient outcomes and avoiding overwhelmed capacity. However, at present hospitals often lack the ability to forecast what will be needed at their site in coming weeks. This may be especially true in under-resourced hospitals, due to constraints on funding, staff time and expertise, and other issues.

One year on: How AI can supercharge the healthcare of the future


As we approach one year since the first national lockdown in the UK, it is clear that Covid-19 is still putting enormous pressures on our healthcare system. Indeed, the NHS reported in January that a record 4.46 million people were on the waiting list for routine treatments and operations, and a recent study by the British Medical Association found that almost 60% of doctors are suffering from some form of anxiety or depression. The path to recovering from this healthcare fallout will not be easy, however, when thinking about how we could alleviate this pressure in the future, emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technologies may be the answer. The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that there will be a shortfall of around 9.9 million healthcare professionals worldwide by 2030, despite the economy being able to create 40 million new health sector jobs by the same year. With larger, aging populations and increasingly complex healthcare demands, there will continue to be strain on health workers for the foreseeable future – so how can AI alleviate this?

NHS mandates AI-powered analysis to treat coronary heart disease


HeartFlow has announced that the National Health Service England (NHSE) and NHS Improvement have mandated that English hospitals adopt the AI-powered HeartFlow FFRct Analysis to fight coronary heart disease (CHD). The HeartFlow Analysis has been selected as one of the innovations supported by NHSE's new MedTech Funding Mandate. The Mandate, which will begin 1st April 2021, aims to provide innovative medical devices and digital products to NHSE patients faster, and is a key policy in helping to improve patient care and reduce costs for the public health service. The Mandate includes the option to extend funding for up to an additional three years through 31 March 2024. HeartFlow has also received extended funding through NHSE's Innovation and Technology Payment Programme (ITP) for a third year.

How artificial intelligence is changing the GP-patient relationship - Pulse Today


'Alexa, what are the early signs of a stroke?' GPs may no longer be the first port of call for patients looking to understand their ailments. 'Dr Google' is already well established in patients' minds, and now they have a host of apps using artificial intelligence (AI), allowing them to input symptoms and receive a suggested diagnosis or advice without the need for human interaction. And policymakers are on board. Matt Hancock is the most tech-friendly health secretary ever, NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens wants England to lead the world in AI, and the prime minister last month announced £250m for a national AI lab to help cut waiting times and detect diseases earlier. Amazon even agreed a partnership with NHS England in July to allow people to access health information via its voice-activated assistant Alexa.