Techtalk

AI Series Part One: AI and Machine Learning

30 May, 2018

It’s fascinating to see the ways in which AI has exploded into the mainstream (hopefully we’ll avoid any Terminator-like “SkyNet” disasters!)

In particular, part one of our three part AI Series looks at using AI to crunch data with machine learning – generally described as a computer trained to learn and make recommendations based on data insights. These recommendations provide the ability to make accurate predictions and enhance system performances or personal experiences.

Machine learning has already been adopted in major technology-dependent sectors such as banking, healthcare, aviation and even space exploration:

“(ML) technology is expected to power future space exploration as it can handle huge data volumes, find patterns in planet image datasets, and predict spaceship condition.”

medium.com

Satellites and space telescopes have already collected a large amount of data. Images provide the main source, but the challenge is how to identify information from the images. ML has become an effective technique for solving these problems.

Machine Learning and AI

Machine learning has progressed since its beginnings in pattern recognition. The theory that computers are able to learn without being programmed to perform tasks has evolved with the rise of AI, and since then research has been focused around proving that computers could actually independently learn from data.

Industries working with large amounts of data recognise the benefits of modern machine learning technology. By mining insights from this data companies are able to work more efficiently or gain an advantage over competitors.

Did you know that Machine learning can be applied to your existing systems in order to modernise and enhance your service and give you a competitive edge? It does not always require a brand new system that can be costly and disruptive. Another form of AI that can be adopted smoothly into existing systems is that of “Augmented Intelligence”.

AI: Augmented Intelligence

We are continually looking for projects to push the boundaries of using AI. When discussing AI we’re also referring to “Augmented Intelligence” as well as Artificial Intelligence. Augmented intelligence emulates and extends human cognitive function through the pairing of people and machines.

“Forward-looking companies and industry experts agree that augmented intelligence is the most effective way to maximize the value of AI”

CognitiveScale.com

Bitjam and AI

At Bitjam we recognise the need for software maintenance, updates and sometimes entirely new systems. We know that the idea of a complete overhaul of your IT-based systems is a concern, yet interoperability might cause long-term challenges in terms of business development. So how can Augmented Intelligence provide the solution?

Bitjam can help you connect with IoT devices to modernise existing services and delay the need for entirely new technology and data systems.

Last year we put our knowledge to the test and created ANNA – a machine learning algorithm that analyses poetry and audibly delivers it in an old-fashioned regional Potteries dialect. Part two of our three part AI Series this Friday will revisit ANNA and share with you the interesting results!

The final part of our three part AI Series next week will focus on the ways you can consider adopting AI for your own systems, how to approach decision-making and the ways in which Bitjam can assist you with the transition.

To learn more or to discuss any projects you have that Bitjam might have the solution to, you can email [email protected]

Uncategorized

Technology For Social Good: BeAble

9 May, 2018

We’re thrilled to share details of one of our more recent “technology for social good” projects, in partnership with Combined Healthcare and NHS Trust.

BeAble is a continuation of one of our earlier dementia research projects. During this research we identified some key technology that is still needed, especially in cases of co-morbidity

A patient with more than one condition – diabetes AND kidney disease for example – with several life-changing symptoms, requires them to take lots of medication that might have multiple side effects. Such difficult health conditions can be challenging to live with and some people find it hard to deal with the pressure, especially when patients are discharged or in-between services.

Combined Healthcare realise that many long-term sick patients aren’t simply somebody with one condition – they tend to have a number of health areas that they would like to manage better. This can be a frustrating experience for the patient, as often the information is not readily available, and they might also have to deal with polypharmacy if they are being passed to different services. It’s equally as challenging for the clinician, as they lack the time and resource to give the patient the full care they require.

BeAble

This is why the idea for BeAble was born. A post-discharge system that provides the clinician with a library of more specific illnesses and treatments that aren’t just pulled in from NHS Choices(our research has considered this to be too long-winded and not specific enough). The library also provides the clinician with ideas for therapeutic activities to encourage a more active and happy patient. The patient is then provided with personalised information and a tailored plan about how to manage their conditions post-discharge, to stop relapse-prevention.

Bitjam are building two parts to the BeAble system – a mobile app and web platform from which clinicians will be granted access.

BeAble will have a number of core features, including a library of specific information and intervention suggestions for clinicians, written in a way that patients will understand, as well as encouraging patient control as they will have the opportunity to be more active about their condition (behaviour activation). Patients will have their care plan accessible from their mobile phones which will have the ability to connect with other technologies such as Amazon Alexa and Google Fit, enhancing the user experience by linking with apps that are useful to their ongoing recovery.

Relapse Prevention

At the heart of BeAble is the idea of supporting patients who might be between many services or post discharge with the need to provide relapse-prevention support, to ensure patients are receiving quality and accurate care.

Patients will work more closely with their clinician to decide on appropriate therapeutic activities, which will help to establish and strengthen a relationship between clinician and patient. Any questions that the patient might have can be written in the app and up for discussion during appointment times. This is known as “channel shift” and it’s shown to improve communication. Patients can message as and when they need to. Channel shift could be the beginning of a move away entirely from the traditional appointment times as the idea is to reduce the number of necessary appointments with accuracy.

Issues such as poly-pharmacy can be tackled using a service like BeAble, to decrease the chance of patient relapse-prevention. Poly-pharmacy is an increasingly common phenomenon that demands attention at clinical level as it can threaten rather than improve a patient’s wellbeing if it’s not managed effectively.

Technologies such as BeAble can ensure best practice in medication management and enhanced self care which are fundamental to independent living with multiple long term condition.

Technology for Social Good

At Bitjam we prefer to choose projects and work with clients in the public sector such as healthcare and education. It’s not only an area we’re more familiar and have more experience in as a collective set of skills, but fields that we have personal preference for as we are contributing towards improving societal communication. You can read more about our projects on our portfolio page here.

If you would like to talk about BeAble, more of our “social good” projects or if you have an idea for a communications project yourselves then you can also drop us an email to chat here.

data to intelligence

Interoperability in Healthcare

4 Apr, 2018

What Is Interoperability in Healthcare

Interoperability is the extent to which systems and devices can exchange and interpret shared data. In healthcare, effective interoperability occurs when IT and software systems to exchange shared data to create information that can be used to assist clinicians and other medical professions with patient care.

Issues Healthcare Staff Are Currently Facing

“Staff suffer from increasing workload and stricter performance measures with less flexibility. This has caused psychological and physical stress…” Science Daily.com

It’s no secret that digitising healthcare IT systems has been a slow and frustrating process for all stakeholders involved, especially the end users who have the responsibility of delivering safe patient care in a secure manner. This adds further pressure to staff who are already suffering from increased workloads and limited resources.

“We physicians have the longest training time of any profession, yet we now spend roughly two-thirds of our workday as data-entry clerks, tending to digital paperwork and administrative burdens” – WSJ.com

How Is Data Currently Manifesting Itself in Healthcare?

  • Notes entered into the EHR (electronic health record)
  • Documents that have been scanned as image files or pdf documents
  • Discrete data such as lab test results.

“The data arrives from many different sources and systems and in multiple formats. It has to be parsed into a format that everyone understands and has been trained to act upon in an appropriate manner” Alan Brookstone

The Challenges

  • The Tech

Data presentation can negatively influence decision making if it is presented in an illogical or intuitive way

  • Human Skills

The computer skills of all staff members and knowledge of their EHR has a significant impact on data interpretation. There are many reasons why some people are less digitally literate than others.

  • Upgrades and Disruption

According to AmericanEHR one of the most frequent complaints of users is that their EHR does not have the necessary tools or capabilities to perform a certain function. Sometimes the staff are unaware that their EHR has the functionality as they haven’t been trained to use the product properly. In other cases their system may require an upgrade. Upgrades can be complex and entire servers may need to be shut down for maintenance. Consequently, upgrades are often delayed because of the disruption.

How Can We Succeed?

Lack of interoperability leads to poor outcomes, therefore the issue must be tackled to ensure quality control.

We believe merging simple-to-use, reliable technology and adequate human support and training will result in the ultimate success of any EHR implementation.

So a move towards cloud-based systems will have a definite advantage as the software is updated centrally by the vendor with limited need to update technology at the user end.

The most significant impact would become apparent with changes to government regulations. G Cloud is an initiative that assists with the procurement by public sector departments in the UK of cloud based commodity IT services.  Traditionally, vendors have to be certified as compliant by the Department of Health which inhibits better products and slows down new system implementation. G Cloud is a way of shifting away from more primitive systems and offers a positive step towards improving the efficiency of EHR software and communication tools.

At Bitjam we pride ourselves on finding continuous ways to improve developer documentation, with cloud-based systems and use of more consistent data design at the forefront of what we do. Our mission is to use technology for social good, so if you have a digital healthcare problem that you’d like to solve, email us at [email protected] to find out more about our previous work.