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New hospital system predicts the future of a patient’s condition


A new hospital system has been designed to look 48 hours into the future to predict if a patient is in trouble.

Built by two cardiothoracic surgeons, the “smart warning” system produces alerts when a patient’s health deteriorates.

Ray Wheeler, from Sydney’s west, was stunned when a yearly check-up revealed three arteries in his heart were blocked and damaged.

Smart warning system hospitals new south wales 48 hours patients trouble
New smart warning system detects patients in trouble 48 hours in advance. (9News)

The 76-year-old underwent bypass surgery at the Sydney Adventist Hospital which used the smart warning system.

“It’s the first hospital in Australia to actually use all the patients data that’s sitting in the electronic record to predict who is going to get sick,” Dr Levi Bassin, one of the founding cardiothoracic surgeons, said.

During his recovery, Mr Wheeler nearly passed out but was treated early thanks to the warning system.

“Saved me going into ICU again,” Mr Wheeler said.

Smart warning system hospitals new south wales 48 hours patients trouble
Ray Wheeler was treated early by the system, preventing a trip to the ICU. (9News)

In NSW, there are protocols in place called “between the flags” to identify patients at risk, based on their vital signs including their pulse and blood pressure.

This relies on the health professionals monitoring their vital signs.

The smart warning system electronically monitors patients and produces alerts up to 48 hours in advance to identify at-risk patients.

“The current systems don’t look at trends, and so we thought with our backgrounds in computer science and mathematics, obviously if we get all the data we can build a system to predict who is going get sick,” Dr Bassin said.

Smart warning system hospitals new south wales 48 hours patients trouble
It has been developed by two cardiothoracic surgeons using anonymised data. (9News)

The software system has been designed using historical anonymised data from 300,000 Australian patients.

A recent 12-month trial, yet to be published, showed it led to significantly fewer emergency calls, unplanned admissions to ICU dropped, and there weren’t as many false alarms.

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“The beauty of the system is when you look at the single ward say 30 patients you can see instantly if there are any patients who are sick,” Dr Bassin said.



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