NHS saves lives with IBM’s AI, Cloud capabilities

NHS saves lives with IBM’s AI, Cloud capabilities

IBM claims the next stage in its digital transformation process is digitising current business processes and bringing digital reinvention to businesses.

Digital is at the core of most organisations in today’s industry and choosing the right capability will be the difference between success and failure. Going hand in hand with each other, automation, artificial intelligence and cloud work on IBM’s platform together to deliver the best services for organisations.

Automation is only as advanced as the data it uses in order to arrive at decisions and predict future occurrences. Helen Kelisky, VP, IBM Cloud UK & Ireland believes data is a key contributor to transforming the delivery of services in the digital world today.

She said: “Data is no longer a new resource. It is a fundamental decision driver and by using data organisations now have the opportunity to uncover even greater insights at a much faster pace.”

IBM works with private and public sector organisations to help transform them to the cloud and reach their potential with data-driven capabilities and AI. Important factors when implementing a digital strategy include accuracy and speed of operations, each having a negative effect if not implemented to the best ability.

Healthcare is an area that’s seen significant investment when it comes to digital technology, understandably so given that Doctors want to improve patient care. Automation, AI and robotics bring more efficient, quick, data led services to patients.

For organisations such as NHS Blood and Transplant Services (NHSBT) that use IBM capabilities, the latter is the important factor for its operations; speed. For an already under provided service it is all the more important to ensure organs get delivered to patients in need at the quickest speed.

Using IBM’s cloud platform and AI capabilities NHSBT has improved its delivery of services by analysing large quantities of data to deliver an quick personalised connective donor service.

NHS saves lives with IBM’s AI, Cloud capabilities IBM

Using IBM has quickened the delivery of organ transplants with NHSBT

Aaron Powell, Chief Digital Officer, NHS Blood and Transplant said: “Digital means something different to everyone, and we think it sits around personalisation and a connective service. We use IBM technology that supports automation intelligence and integration for organ donations so that services are as effective as they can possibly be.”

Whilst IBM’s Kelisky seemingly believes the power is behind the data, Powell opposes the thought and instead puts predictive elements of IBM at the forefront of operations and power behind services.

NHSBT aims to quicken the delivery of organs to patients in need much quicker by using AI technology and automation to sift through data, and allocate the organ with the correct and best-fit patient then deliver that to them in the required time.

Most organs must be delivered within 24hours or less in order to treat the patient efficiently. In total 96 separate decisions have to be made before allocating an organ to a patient in need, therefore by operates with IBM’s cloud platform alongside using AI, automation capabilities analyse complex data much more quickly so patients get their organ sooner.

Since working with IBM, Powell revealed the manual steps have been reduced by 40% which has made them more flexible, giving them more secure access to relevant information when and where it was needed.

Powell said: “We found that cloud lets us integrate data in a much more complex way and apply that intelligence capability and analytics as well as the predictive elements where I think a lot of the power comes from.

“As well as cloud, automation has benefited us because for the process to work at speed, businesses processes need to be automated in order to make them work more quickly which means we can get organs to patients much quicker and save more lives.”

Operating in the cloud brings tremendous benefits to the NHS organisation, offering much more flexibility, quicker running time and a more efficient system. Ultimately bringing all these benefits to the organisation contributes to the end result to reduce the time the donation takes.

Another area of NHSBT that uses IBM’s capabilities is the ‘Organ allocation Scheme’ which uses IBM’s capabilities to make “Critical, life-changing decisions” on a day to day basis. Using large data sets the intelligence analyses the data to find the perfect match to allocate an organ to.

“IBM capabilities have transformed the way we allocate organs. We started with heart allocations last year in November, now there is a lung scheme and early in the New Year there will be a liver scheme presented to the UK. We predict this will save at least 50 more lives per year,” said Powell.

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As well as analysing data to help patients, the predictive capabilities also significantly help the staff in their daily jobs and often in difficult decisions. IBM’s capabilities assist workers in three main areas; equity, fairness, and utility.

Equity looks to the equitable distribution of transplants to patients in need then AI analyses the fairness of the organ distribution, for example, who has waited longest on the list then finally utility which analyse which recipients would benefit the most from receiving the organs.

Introducing IBM’s capabilities across the cloud and using automation has increased the efficiency of organ delivery for NHSBT, the accuracy of patients receiving organs and ensuring the people most in need get organs in the specified time.

Saving over 50 more lives per year are the results IBM has brought to NHSBT, with the hope of saving many more in the future.