The third NIHR Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative BITT tank will focus on the development of Artificial Intelligence in neurointensive care.
The revolution in artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting every aspect of our lives, none more so than in healthcare. The value of AI is in its ability to make sense of large amounts of data in a short amount of time. It is also ideally suited to integrate data and is not susceptible to the biases, assumptions and omissions common in human decision making.
Neurointensive care is a challenging specialty in that sick patients are often admitted with multiple serious problems, rapid diagnosis is essential, early warning of impending deterioration crucial and accurate prognostication important. Neurointensive care is data rich, but rarely integrated. There is a tendency in the management of the critically ill patient to treat data as discrete, linear and stationary and the inherent complexity within the whole patient often overlooked. However, almost by definition the critically ill patient with multi-organ failure has ‘whole-system’ failure. Even if the clinician appreciates these complexities, the sheer volume of data makes it impossible for adequate interpretation of what that data is showing accurately in real time.
The challenge of bringing AI into the critical care unit is not straightforward; not least because of the variety and magnitude of data and complexity of integrating the data. Different AI methodologies exist and would need to be validated in different clinical situations and populations. While individual patients are ‘data rich’, AI cannot draw on large population data and the infrastructure within the NHS is not yet robust enough to compile data from critical care units nationwide. Nevertheless, the technology is developing rapidly, the need is urgent and benefits immense.
The purpose of this BITT tank is to bring together expertise in neurocritical care medicine (adult, paediatric and neonatal) with developers, scientists and engineers in the field of AI to explore challenges, collaborations and possible solutions in the acute monitoring and management of brain injury.