Clinithink solution potentially saves 3,119 people with diabetes from having their limbs amputated
AI technology from Clinithink has scanned 14.2 million documents relating to 775,217 patients to find those with diabetic foot disease (DFD), a potentially-serious complication of diabetes.
In a matter of weeks, the AI-driven software has reviewed data which would have taken a clinician over 100 years to analyse.
The software trawled through medical records and notes to find 30% more patients with diabetes, and 375% more patients with diabetic foot problems, making it easier for clinicians to schedule earlier treatments to save feet and limbs from amputation.
Diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic limb amputation, with the equivalent of more than 176 leg, toe, or foot amputations taking place every week in England.
The estimated cost to the NHS of caring for patients with DFD was £1billion in 2014/15.
“Attempting this scale of analysis manually would have been frankly impossible,” said Dr Charles Gutteridge, chief clinical information officer at Barts Health NHS Trust.
“Theoretically it would have taken one clinician over 100 years to review that volume of documents.
“So, not only does AI technology help us find patients who we couldn’t otherwise find; it also saves precious clinical time.
This will enable us to focus our precious clinical resource on those patients likely to benefit most from early intervention, which will also reduce the burden on hard-pressed acute services
“This is a first and most-important step in being able to treat many patients earlier than would have been possible using a manual process to find them and preventing the serious complications that may result in amputation.”
In the next phase of work planned by the Barts Health team, the characteristics extracted by the software in the cohort it identified, along with input from other sources, will be used to determine whether this approach can predict which patients are most likely to develop the severe complications associated with Diabetic Foot Disease (DFD).
Sandip Sarkar, consultant vascular surgeon at Barts Health, and lead clinician for the project, comments: “Using this advanced AI technology, we are very excited about the possibility of being able to predict which patients are most likely to experience the worst consequences of DFD.
“This will enable us to focus our precious clinical resource on those patients likely to benefit most from early intervention, which will also reduce the burden on hard-pressed acute services. This is how we need to manage chronic disease in the post-COVID era.”
Using this advanced AI technology, we are very excited about the possibility of being able to predict which patients are most likely to experience the worst consequences of DFD
Barts Health, which delivers healthcare to a diverse population of 2.5 million people in East London, was able to use this technology, which harnesses natural language processing, to analyse 14.2 million documents related to 775,217 patients written between 2018-2020. This identified 61,756 patients with diabetes and, of these, 3,119 patients with DFD.
“It is very exciting to see how organisations like Barts Health caring for large patient populations with complex and diverse health needs can leverage our technology to help patients and deliver value,” said Chris Tackaberry, chief executive and co-founder at Clinithink.
“We have always seen a role for AI technology from a population health perspective in identifying and predicting at-risk groups.
“It is also very encouraging to see the saving in clinical time and effort that results from using our technology to do the heavy lifting that would otherwise have to be done manually, or not at all.
“We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Barts Health in the next phase of the project.”