How Hospitals Are Using AI to Save Lives (WSJ, April 10 2022)

Title: How Hospitals Are Using AI to Save Lives (WSJ, April 10 2022)


Hospitals are leaning toward using artificial intelligence to help identify and treat patients at the highest risk. AI algorithms are processing a huge amount of data in electronic medical records, searching for patterns to create early-warning systems. The recommendations made by these algorithms help hospital staff spot subtle but fatal changes in a patient’s condition that are left unnoticed. Although this prediction technology holds especially significant promise to transform care and improve patient safety, it also raises some ethical concerns. Below are the 3 most important applications of such AI-driven algorithms:

  1. Avoiding a code blue: Usually, when a patient shows signs of deteriorating conditions that trigger a Code Blue - it is already too late. By using data analytics to predict a patient’s health condition trend well in advance, doctors can potentially prevent such emergencies.
  2. Watching for sepsis: Sepsis is one of the most dangerous risks to patients, which can lead to organ failure and ultimately death if not treated properly. The alerts are presented to clinicians to aid them in making clinical decisions about whether a patient has sepsis.
  3. Readmission challenges: Hospitals are using machine learning to identify which patients are at the greatest risk of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge.