Faculty announces new programme with the NHS to enhance forecasting

British tech company Faculty has announced a new programme, partnering with NHS England and Improvement to ‘transform’ the health service’s AI decision-making capabilities.

Focusing on enhancing AI forecasting, the collaboration aims to focus on data insights underpinning operational decisions and put COVID-19 data learnings into practice to improve care delivery and services for patients.

Faculty previously worked with the NHS to develop the Early Warning System (EWS) – which uses aggregate data, such as COVID-19 case numbers and 111 calls, to warn hospitals about potential spikes in cases so that staff, beds and vital equipment can be diverted if needed.

It also allows forecasts to use specific information from a trust, as well as incorporating ‘broader contextual information’ that impacts the forecast, such as what’s happening locally in other hospital trusts – allowing the EWS to use more relevant information for the forecasts of those individual trusts.

The new partnership’s goal is to help the NHS ‘capitalise’ on its current capabilities and deepen its AI offering – including looking a new areas where forecasting tools may be able to improve care, like predicting winter pressures on A&E departments.

AI specialists from Faculty will work with the NHS’s own in-house data science team to construct machine learning tools that can utilise the company’s applications, such as tools around safety and explainability. NHS analysts will also be trained as part of the collaboration.

It’s hoped the work will also deliver greater clarity and insight – with users able to see how input, such as historical admissions data, is driving a trust’s forecast currently.

The newly developed and existing AI forecasting tools will be delivered through the Faculty Platform –  a secure, open data science space t for building and deploying software.