AI-powered solutions in tackling COVID-19 and beyond


After experiencing two winters, Synthetic Intelligence (AI) is more and more driving developments in expertise and companies, from autonomous automobiles to medical analysis, transferring AI from idea to industrial functions. These progressive functions are more and more essential and turning into extra prevalent in society. Frequent areas the place AI are discovered to be efficient and environment friendly embody evaluation of big quantity of information and data in a constant and speedy method; or when mundane operational duties could be automated. 

Within the healthcare trade,  AI has been utilized to scale back time spent on administrative and operational duties similar to claims processing and affected person administration amongst others. This helps to unlock healthcare staff’ time and could be channeled to enhancing sufferers’ care and experiences. AI may assist to interrupt the iron triangle of healthcare (triple constraints on High quality, Entry and Value). 

For instance, in telemedicine, AI-triage consultations and drugs assist to supply entry to rural areas sufferers (or city cities with critical visitors congestions), at an reasonably priced price and with related qualities as a bodily physician’s go to.  Throughout the healthcare spectrum, the implementation of the suitable AI tech can add worth to clinicians, administrative workers and naturally, the affected person. 

COVID-19 associated AI options

Given its extremely infectious nature and straightforward transmission of COVID-19 by way of human contact or uncovered surfaces, using robots and AI will help enormously cut back the potential of coronavirus transmission by lowering human contact, defending frontline healthcare staff, administrative workers and the general public at giant.

NCS has deployed AI-powered thermal cameras with a number of public healthcare suppliers in Singapore. Given the manpower crunch at these healthcare amenities, using these cameras helped to scale back the necessity for manpower required to hold out guide, one-to-one temperature measurements with handheld scanners. 

These cameras could be built-in to the customer and worker administration system and call tracing techniques to facilitate monitoring and additional follow-ups as required by the healthcare suppliers. 

On the Group Care Facility (CCF) situated on the Singapore Expo to handle recovering COVID-19 sufferers with milder signs, NCS co-implemented Robotic Course of Automation (RPA) answer to automate the admission, discharge and switch of sufferers into/out CCF, which was beforehand finished by way of a guide knowledge entry technique.

“The RPA answer helped to enhance operational effectivity on the CCF, which had an oblique influence on the affected person expertise,” defined Jim Lim, Healthcare Sector Lead, NCS.

NCS’ Robotic Well being Supervisor helped within the distant surveillance of individuals to detect unwell individuals utilizing audio and video analytics (for fast isolation or consideration). The self-navigating robotic identifies Individuals of Curiosity (POI) contactless important indicators monitoring (temp, coronary heart fee), sound and gesture sensors to detect cough.

“As a key expertise companion with over 30 years of solutioning expertise within the healthcare sector, NCS is dedicated to constructing our NEXT digital capabilities to satisfy the present and future wants for private and non-private healthcare establishments in Singapore,” mentioned Jim.

Including worth to healthcare by way of AI

Within the scientific setting, AI could be utilized to nice impact in areas of medical imaging similar to CT scans and X-rays, in offering radiologists higher insights and serving to them make knowledgeable choices. Because of development in deep studying expertise in AI, it could possibly analyze sophisticated medical photos to higher assist clinicians in detection and diagnostics. 

NCS Corp Labs’ in-house researchers leverage the most recent tech, together with AI and so they co-innovate with native analysis establishments similar to Nanyang Technological College (NTU) and public healthcare clusters with an goal to scale back administrative and operational duties by healthcare staff.

“We’re additionally engaged on the SG Well being Assistive and Robotics Programme (SHARP), along with the Nationwide Analysis Basis (NRF) and Ministry of Well being (MOH) to extend using assistive and robotic tech in healthcare, in addition to to scale back the burden of repetitive duties,” mentioned Dr. Yan Shi Xing, Director, Company Labs and Product Growth, NCS.

He shared that whereas China is main within the space of medical AI and has many organizations concerned within the coaching of AI fashions, the AI governance framework in Singapore emphasizes on accountability and reliability. 

“Though AI and deep neural networks will help predict outcomes, there could also be occurrences of black field AI the place the outputs and operations will not be explainable. Within the context of healthcare, explainable AI is a vital subject,” he added.

That is additionally why Singapore takes a really cautious strategy in making use of AI in healthcare, particularly within the scientific context. Exterior of the scientific setting, using AI may add worth to each sufferers and healthcare professionals in all the healthcare journey.

As an example, to enhance the general affected person expertise, AI can be utilized to automate repetitive processes, course of large knowledge in minimal time, and with out human error. Abroad firms like UK’s Babylon Well being and China’s Ping An Good Physician use AI chatbots for the preliminary triaging of sufferers signs and circumstances, saving time and produce comfort to customers/sufferers. 

At Singapore’s Tan Tock Seng Hospital, sufferers get their remedy in 10 minutes and that features the time they take to stroll from the physician’s workplace to the pharmacy. That is made doable with the Outpatient Pharmacy Automation System (OPAS) which integrates automated allotting machines and scanning units into the remedy workflow to handle duties such because the selecting, packing, labelling, assembling, verifying and allotting of remedy. 

With the system automating 80 per cent of the remedy allotting workflow, it additionally helped to enhance workers productiveness by getting rid of the rework and lowering the variety of calls they make to make clear prescriptions.

Wanting into the long run 

NCS is at the moment exploring with healthcare and eldercare suppliers in Singapore to utilize teleconsultation instruments to permit one-to-one interactions between sufferers and medical doctors. 

“We’re additionally deploying autonomous automobiles which are powered by AI algorithms to be used in enclosed healthcare campuses for supply of medicine and diagnostic instruments. Moreover, we’re looking for alternatives to work intently with life sciences and pharma trade to see how we will use our AI capabilities to assist with lowering scientific/pharma trials,” mentioned Jim. 

One other idea that NCS is trying to discover is the creation of AI-assisted robotic nursing assistants, which assist nurses in finishing up duties similar to measuring a affected person’s important indicators, delivering and allotting remedy in addition to delivering gadgets to sufferers autonomously. These robotic assistants, often known as Florence, generates as much as 20% freed-up time for nurses to deal with affected person engagement, in line with early stage trials by NCS. 

Presently, NCS can also be embarking on a pilot undertaking with healthcare suppliers on using AI algorithms to help sufferers to make choices on the assorted healthcare financing schemes accessible throughout their hospital keep, which will help cut back complexity and create a seamless expertise for sufferers.

To be taught extra about NCS’ healthcare options, click on right here.



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