A technology developed and deployed in Israel can alert doctors to divergent treatment regimens that could lead their patients to hospital.
Many elderly patients end up in hospital because of drug interactions or when treatments are not adapted to the latest tests.
This phenomenon is called, in medical jargon, “suboptimal polypharmacy”.
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Leumit Healthcare Services, one of Israel’s four healthcare funds, has deployed an artificial intelligence system developed by FeelBetter in Tel Aviv to limit cases of suboptimal polypharmacy that harm patients.
Set up in January, it does not yet have detailed statistics on its effectiveness, but an a posteriori study suggests that it will be of great use.
The study finds that the system flagged nearly seven out of ten elderly patients likely to require hospitalization within three to nine months.
The study, which has not been peer-reviewed, reviewed the 20-year medical records of some 153,000 Israeli patients over the age of 65, suffering from more than one chronic disease and taking more than two prescription drugs.
The artificial intelligence generated, based solely on the data available in the files, lists of patients at risk of hospitalization due to suboptimal polypharmacy. The researchers then cross-referenced these lists with data on patients actually hospitalized for suboptimal polypharmacy, and found that the AI tool identified the majority of cases.
“Many hospitalizations result from suboptimal polypharmacy, and our technology gives physicians the tools to identify 70% to 80% of people over 65 at risk of hospitalization and tailor care accordingly,” said said Yoram Hordan, chief technology officer and co-founder of FeelBetter, at Times of Israel.
“We speak of sub-optimal polypharmacy when the drug protocol chosen to treat a patient’s chronic illnesses is not the most suitable. To address this, we review all data related to the patient’s health status – lab results, medications and treatments – and thus we can identify issues that may lead to hospitalization. The core of the tool is the constant monitoring of medical records,” he added.
Leumit is the first FeelBetter customer to have integrated the artificial intelligence tool into its medical records management system, last January.
The AI tool is now undergoing a trial at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Hordan said doctors at Leumit have already received many alerts from the tool, prompting them to review the treatment given to certain patients.
“We have already provided information to clinicians to adapt the treatment regimen for hundreds of patients,” he said.
Avivit Golan, a physician and senior manager at Leumit, said the technology helps to optimize the delivery of medication to each patient and ensure that the chosen treatment best meets their needs.
“It allows clinical pharmacists to play a leading role in assessing general health status, and determining whether prescribed medications optimally meet the goals of care and patient needs,” he said. she commented.
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