Researchers explain how computer scientists and clinicians are trying to reduce fatal medical errors by building “ambient intelligence” into the spaces where patients reside.
As many as 400,000 Americans die each year because of medical errors, but many of these deaths could be prevented by using electronic sensors and artificial intelligence to help medical professionals monitor and treat vulnerable patients in ways that improve outcomes while respecting privacy.
“We have the ability to build technologies into the physical spaces where health care is delivered to help cut the rate of fatal errors that occur today due to the sheer volume of patients and the complexity of their care,” said Arnold Milstein, a professor of medicine and director of Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC).
Milstein, along with computer science professor Fei-Fei Li and graduate student Albert Haque, are co-authors of a Nature paper that reviews the field of “ambient intelligence” in health care — an interdisciplinary effort to create such smart hospital rooms equipped with AI systems that can do a range of things to improve outcomes. For example, sensors and AI can immediately alert clinicians and patient visitors when they fail to sanitize their hands before entering a hospital room. AI tools can be built into smart homes where technology could unobtrusively monitor the frail elderly for behavioral clues of impending health crises. And they prompt in-home caregivers, remotely located clinicians and patients themselves to make timely, life-saving interventions.
Source: “AI-controlled sensors could save lives in ‘smart’ hospitals and homes”, Stanford University