Google's DeepMind & The NHS Working On New Lifesaving AI App

DeepMind Health Royal Free London NHS

While Google’s DeepMind is capable of having fun, its ability to contribute to science, research, and general betterment of humankind is certainly much more noteworthy. Today, DeepMind Technologies revealed another step in its long-term strategy of using AI technology to improve health. Namely, the company announced a five-year partnership with the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust whose goal is to increase the quality of patient care in NHS hospitals throughout the United Kingdom.

The initiative will revolve around Streams, a clinical mobile app currently in development by DeepMind Technologies with input from the NHS. More specifically, the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) just approved Streams as a medical device, which means its creators can finally start using it in practice and look to improve the app at a faster rate, thanks to more feedback. In an announcement published earlier today, DeepMind Technologies explained that this partnership will potentially save lives as Streams will be able to deliver timely and accurate analyses of patients’ data to clinicians. This solution will notify healthcare professionals the moment alarming test results come in. In other words, it will reduce response time and consequently improve survival rates.

On the DeepMind side of things, the Google-owned company will not only handle the Streams infrastructure and development but also perform blood analyses. The initial version of the app will start rolling out in 2017 and will be specifically designed to detect acute kidney injuries and send alerts to clinicians. Of course, that’s only the beginning, as the initiative also has plans to expand the analysis process to other serious medical conditions leading to organ failure like sepsis. In other words, Streams will initially focus on extending support for illnesses which require early intervention, especially those characterized by symptoms which are difficult for healthcare professionals to spot. In addition to that, DeepMind Technologies also announced plans to develop a messaging service, clinical task management, and several other Streams features which clinicians specifically requested. Last but not least, it’s worth noting that Streams is being developed using open standards so third-party developers will also be able to contribute to the project.