New initiative will put patients and healthcare professionals in control of AI-driven personalised care planning
A new research network will enable patients to contribute to the training and development of a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that will personalise the treatment of long-term health conditions and reduce health inequalities.
The network, created by the National Institute for Health Research, Vernova CIC, and digital health company, Healum, gives patients and healthcare professionals the opportunity to shape and personalise healthcare.
From 26 May, the network, which is a trusted research environment, was opened to all healthcare providers in England, and is known as a ‘live learning network’.
Data about the treatment of patients’ long-term health conditions, such as Type 2 diabetes, will be used to train artificial intelligence algorithms in order to assist healthcare professionals in making clinical choices.
Healum’s AI platform will analyse the data patients consent to share to help make informed decisions, ensuring a high quality of care is maintained and enabling more-personalised care to be delivered in the future.
Dr Adrian Heald, chief investigator of the UKRI study and a consultant physician in diabetes and endocrinology, said: “A key challenge in long-term condition management is to have a sense of how the past and current health profile of a person can best inform care plan choices for the future.”
We know that choice and control over the role that their data plays in informing their health journey and the journey of others, is crucial and this inspired us to launch our AI research health community that uses a live learning model as part of the shared decision-making process when managing long-term care
People who join the community will have the option to share data such as their health outcomes, and the medical and non-medical treatments they received, via their NHS care provider.
This data will help thousands of similar people who have the same condition, or the same combination of conditions.
The move comes off the back of five years of R&D, part funded by UKRI, that enabled Healum to test and develop its community-based approach to designing and training AI healthcare solutions.
The funding enabled Healum to crowdsource the inputs of thousands of patients and healthcare professionals to codesign its digital healthcare platform and shape the way that its machine learning solutions should be built and managed.
Through close collaboration with NIHR and Vernova CIC, Healum formed a research partnership across Greater Manchester CRN that worked to the NICE evidence standards for digital health.
An initial project which trialled the approach with people living with Type 2 diabetes showed promising results.
Across 27 practices in London and East Cheshire, patients showed a reduction of 9.5% in HBA1C within the treatment group, compared to a 2% reduction for the control group.
A key challenge in long-term condition management is to have a sense of how the past and current health profile of a person can best inform care plan choices for the future
And 98% of messages from healthcare professionals were opened and over 50% of people used personalised resources and goals to achieve a reduction in HBA1C.
Anuj Saboo, chief technology officer and co-founder of Healum, said: "Every development decision we’ve made regarding our AI models for personalised care has been informed by patient and healthcare professional stakeholders.
“We know that choice and control over the role that their data plays in informing their health journey and the journey of others, is crucial and this principle inspired us to launch our AI research health community that uses a live learning model as part of the shared decision-making process when managing long-term care.
"Now, people that choose to be part of the new open health research community will benefit from the use of the app to manage their long-term condition and will be able to control exactly how their data is used on their terms.
“And healthcare providers that join the network will benefit from the Healum software which has shown to make care planning easier. They will be able to understand the approaches their peers are taking for similar patients within the research community and provide tailored recommendations based on the person’s condition and ethnicity, wherever they are.”