Will Artificial Intelligence in patient care that supports diagnosis and manages diseases create patient safety issues?

On the contrary, AI’s use in medicine can bring additional safety, efficiency and cost-effectiveness to the whole healthcare delivery system. At YouDiagnose, we are using augmented intelligence in patient service, which means that artificial intelligence is augmenting the human being in better and faster decision making. While Artificial Intelligence is the creation of machines or machine applicaitons to work and react like humans, Augmented Intelligence is using those same machines with a different approach – to enhance the human worker to become more effective and productive.

YouDiagnose is a small and medium enterprise (SME). Why are you looking for public funding rather than an investment?

We need funds immediately available to start this project so that we can help during the COVID-19 emergency. If we do not act now, cancer patients will go through long periods of uncertainty and delays. Due to COVID-19, the funds have been diverted and delayed, thereby, delaying the overall project.

While we are pursuing various types of institutional investments, we also applying for public funds and grants to help our company carry out this research and pilot project for the NHS in partnership with the academic institutes.

What is the future after the pilot project is over?

After the successful completion of the 9-month pilot project, we will extend our services to the rest of the National Health Service across various cancer sectors. We will liaise with the following NHS organisations:
• NHS procurement service
• Academic Health Science Networks
• NHS digital
• NHS improvement agency

What are the benefits that YouDiagnose can bring?

Our AI-powered system will provide data-driven triage automation, e.g. a one-stop solution with seamless decision-making. This will do away with the manual, laborious triaging process. The following benefits will be provided by YouDiagnose:
1. Reduced coronavirus morbidity from reinforced social distancing
2. Improved clinical safety from identification of “at risk” vulnerable population
3. Saved work hours for clinicians, secretaries, navigators, booking offices and GP practices
4. Increased accuracy of referrals by data-driven decision making.
5. Improved safety arising out of a hybrid model of working.
6. Greater system efficiency reducing the wait time.
7. Greater cost efficiency
8. Reduced carbon footprint due to reduced number of printouts.

How can YouDiagnose help the vulnerable section of society?

The median age for cancer is around 60 years which coincides with the vulnerable age group, who are at risk of deadly complications from the Coronavirus pandemic. While social distancing and isolation are very important for this age group, a balancing act of judgment and decision making is crucial to provide the cancer specialist care to those in need while reinforcing social distancing for those who can wait. Many of the patients who are in care homes, nursing homes and GP practices can benefit tremendously from this solution.

How does YouDiagnose aim to help the digitally excluded population?

YouDiagnose has got a policy document to extend the benefit of technology to the digitally excluded section of society who are not able to use the technology due to advanced age, dementia etc.
For instance, in a care home or nursing home, we will provide authorisation to their guardian, person holding the power of attorney or the manager to fill the form in on behalf of the patient. GP receptionists and hospital secretaries can also do this.

Can YouDiagnose help primary care or GP surgeries?

An international publication In the British Medical Journal published in 2019 shows that the average consultation length differed vastly across the world, ranging from 48 seconds in Bangladesh to 22.5 minutes in Sweden. This research article was based on 111 publications covering 28 million consultations across 67 countries.
50% of the global population in 18 countries spend less than five minutes with their primary care physicians. Comparisons offer GP consultation time in Europe shows that the UK is amongst the shortest.
According to a study published by Cambridge University, the UK consultation time increases by just 4.2 seconds per year meaning that at the current trend we will be able to reach a 15-minute appointment time with the GP by 2086! While the British Medical Association has called for a 15 minutes appointment time for better diagnostic accuracy, looking at the current scenario of healthcare task force deficit, it seems hard to achieve. YouDiagnose AI-powered GP solutions can bring a transformation in GP consultations by providing a data-driven workflow efficiency.
Irving G, Neves AL, Dambha-Miller H, et al International variations in primary care physician consultation time: a systematic review of 67 countries BMJ Open 2017;7:e017902. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017902
NHS patients getting less time with their GPs compared to other developed countries https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/nhs-gp-doctor-appointment-time-comparison-patients-latest-a8044681.html

How will YouDiagnose help in mitigating the cancer diagnosis delays arising out of patient factors?

A recent survey, by Populus, that interviewed 1724 adults in England between 15th to 17th of June 2018, showcases the public attitude and beliefs towards cancer. It reveals various barriers preventing people from seeking medical attention when they developed a potential cancer symptom. As much as 25% of people might be affected by such a barrier.
The five common barriers to seeking medical care are as follows
I would be worried about what the doctor might find.
I would be worried about wasting the doctors time.
The doctor would not be available at a time which is convenient for me.
I would be too embarrassed.
I would be too busy to make time to go to the doctor.
YouDiagnose will allow the patients to be self-assessed and it will provide the doctors with the patient’s medical conditions, triage, complexity and cancer risk, thereby, reducing the delay in cancer diagnosis. By educating the patient about various aspect of the symptoms, diseases and forthcoming investigations, it will make the patient an increasingly educated consumer of the healthcare system.
The state of cancer: public attitudes and beliefs towards Britain’s biggest killer – https://www.populus.co.uk/insights/2018/08/the-state-of-cancer-public-attitudes-and-beliefs-towards-britains-biggest-killer/ accessed on 20th March 2020.