Without a doubt, 2020 has been a devastating year for many; the impact of COVID-19 on both personal lives and businesses has had long-term consequences.
At the end of September, the number of COVID-19 cases fell just short of 350 million, with just over 1 million deaths reported. The expectation of a second peak in many countries exposed to the deadly illness is being handled with care, with many governments attempting to minimize the impact of an extreme rise in cases.
COVID-19 the aftermath will be the new normal?
Despite the chaotic attempts to dampen the impact of a second peak, it is inevitable that healthcare facilities will be stretched once again. However, there are key learnings to be had from the first few months of the pandemic, with several healthcare providers opting to be armed with as much information to tackle the likely imminent surge of patients with COVID-19 head-on. The interest in solutions that offer support to clinicians through data analysis is starting to emerge, with several COVID-19-specific Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms filtering through the medical imaging space.
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Stepping into the ICU, the use of analytics and AI-based clinical applications is drawing more attention. Solutions that collect relevant patient information, dissect the information and offer clinical decision support are paving the way to a more informed clinical environment. Already, early-warning scoring, sepsis detection and predictive analytics were becoming a focus. The recent COVID-19 outbreak has also driven further interest in COVID-19-specific applications, and tele-ICU solutions, that offer an alternative way to ensure high-risk patients are monitored appropriately in the ICU.
What does the future hold?
Signify Research is currently in the process of assessing the uptake of clinical decision support and AI-based applications in the high acuity and perinatal care settings. An initial assessment has highlighted various solutions that help improve not only the efficiency of care but also improve its quality. Some of the core areas of focus include:
Clinical Decision Support and Predictive Analytics
Due to the abundance of patient data and information required to be regularly assessed and monitored, the high-acuity and perinatal care settings benefit from solutions offering clinical decision support.
The ICU, specifically, has been a focus of many AI solution providers, with real-time analysis and support of data to provide actionable clinical decision support in time-critical situations. Clinical decision support solutions can collate data and identify missing pieces of information to provide a complete picture of the patient’s status and to support the treatment pathway. Some of the key vendors pathing the way for AI in clinical decision support in the ICU include: AiiNTENSE, Ambient Clinical Analytics, Etiometry, BetterCare, AlertWatch, and Vigilanz Corp.