New algorithm ‘to predict patient’s mental health crisis before it strikes’


HEALTH NOTES: New algorithm ‘to predict patient’s mental health crisis before it strikes’

A computer program is being developed to predict a patient’s mental health crisis before it strikes.

In trials, the algorithm spotted upcoming emergencies, such as the need for a hospital admission, in half of cases up to a month before they occurred.

The researchers, from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, used seven years worth of anonymised health records to develop the program. In two-thirds of cases, the tech was used to either stop situations escalating or to reduce the case load for emergency medics.

Former NHS psychiatrist Dr Oliver Harrison, chief executive of digital firm Koa Health which helped develop the tech, says: ‘We want to move from reactive care to proactive care.’

A computer program is being developed to predict a patient’s mental health crisis before it strikes

In trials, the algorithm spotted upcoming emergencies, such as the need for a hospital admission, in half of cases up to a month before they occurred

In trials, the algorithm spotted upcoming emergencies, such as the need for a hospital admission, in half of cases up to a month before they occurred

One in four Britons don’t think they need to wear suncream when in the UK, a study has found.

While 90 per cent of the 2,200 people quizzed by digital pharmacy Medino said they do apply sun protection when abroad, a quarter think the sun in the UK ‘isn’t strong enough’ to cause skin damage.

However, experts warn that cases of the most serious form of skin cancer – melanoma – have risen by a third in the past decade in the UK.

Pharmacist Giulia Guerrini says: ‘Ingredients to look out for in your sun protection include homosalate and octyl salicylate.’

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