Are clinicians ready for clinical data to do the heavy lifting?

An earlier version of this post was written by Brendan DUNPHY (CEO of C-BIA Consulting) and first published on AIMed

Data, Data Everywhere but……

In much of Healthcare, clinical data are increasingly present but stranded – unloved, ephemeral and underused. Healthcare data do not carry the load of knowledge or routinely inform clinical decision-making. Data are not systemically used for clinical education, improving patient outcomes or furthering research.

In some clinical scenarios data are more akin to a by-product – generated by devices or stored in notes and then filed.

Data might get used for regulatory compliance, operational efficiency, or surface in the growing number of patient litigations. In Healthcare, the clinician and their personal knowledge and experience rule, no matter how dated that experience is.

Clinical Bias

Clinicians, like the rest of us, are full of bias and for good reason. When they need to make a decision quickly, they rely on heuristics based on experience. This usually works  but occasionally does not, the consequences of failure not too serious. But what about clinical trainees and juniors without experience to fall back on?

Clinicians need data in some scenarios to help ensure they don’t succumb too easily to bias, especially when tired, stressed, or inexperienced. There is no shame in this, though there still lingers a trace of machismo and an aversion to data, in some specialities more than others.

120 Interruptions in an 8-hour shift?

An intensivist may have 120 interruptions during an 8-hour shift. That’s a change of task every 7 minutes. Even where patient pathways are defined, they may only be followed in 10-20% of cases. This increases risk for the patient and compromises accurate and consistent decision-making, especially for the inexperienced clinician. Finding ways to lessen this risk by augmenting capabilities, improving triage and speeding accurate diagnosis seem to be critical areas for the application of AI.

Ensuring that data is routinely captured and informs clinical decision-making will be a big step forward for all parties, including clinicians.

This is a review of AIMed Europe 2018. Learn more about the leading global event for clinicians in AI in healthcare here.