Artificial Intelligence: A New Frontier in Ontario's Healthcare

JJohn September 21, 2023 12:31 AM

Ontario hospitals are leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to revamp healthcare. Tools like predictive AI systems and delirium detectors are not only enhancing patient care, but also helping hospitals manage resources better.

AI fostering predictive healthcare

In the healthcare scene of Ontario, AI has marked its presence, providing a promising scope for enhanced patient care. Grand River Hospital (GRH), for one, has allied with Signal 1 to launch an AI system that can anticipate alterations in patient needs. Here's how it rolls - patient data gets processed through an AI algorithm which then predicts the patient's trajectory, whether they're about to get better or need more intensive care. This predictive feature facilitates early intervention by doctors, which can have a significant effect on the patient's recovery process.

Besides providing critical insights about a patient's health trajectory, the AI system plays an instrumental role in efficient resource management. By forecasting when a patient might be ready for discharge, it speeds up the process of freeing up beds, thereby addressing capacity issues. Moreover, it equips the hospital staff with valuable foresight, enabling them to allocate their resources and plan their schedules effectively.

AI detecting delirium with high precision

AI's potential in healthcare extends beyond facilitating clinical decisions. St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto provides a case in point, utilizing AI to detect delirium - a serious condition characterized by confused thinking and a lack of awareness. The hospital employs an AI tool that scans through patient notes, ensuring that a delirium diagnosis doesn’t slip through the cracks. By doing so, it has remarkably boosted the recognition rate of delirium cases from a mere 25% to a whopping 90% accuracy.

AI tools: A supportive aid, not a replacement

While the benefits of AI in healthcare are manifold, it's important to note that these tools are designed to aid, not replace, human involvement. As Carla Girolametto, GRH director of innovation, aptly puts it, the human factor remains irreplaceable, and the final call for clinical and treatment decisions will always be in the hands of medical professionals, not a 'robot' or technology tool.

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