Innovation, News

Northern Care Alliance NHS to develop app to predict and prevent patient safety incidents

The Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust has announced that work has started to develop an AI-driven app to predict and prevent “patient safety incidents” for those recovering from brain injury or other brain conditions.

Recognising the challenges that these types of conditions can pose, the Northern Care Alliance’s Salford Royal Hospital is working with Decently, an information technology company, to use AI to detect challenging behaviour earlier. It is hoped that this early detection can help clinicians to prevent patients’ mental health from deteriorating.

Melo™ will add to existing methods used to assess agitated behaviour and to record incidents, adding a simplified data collection platform which offers smart analytics to “support clinicians in making more evidence-based care decisions”.

Initial project funding has come from the 2022/23 Salford Innovation & Improvement Fund. This has helped to create a clinical research post at the hospital, as well as to fund testing on the neurorehabilitation ward.

Decently have also been accepted onto the GM Research & Innovation Health Accelerator Programme, which will help to build on the concept to prepare it for wider adoption.

Dr Alistair Teager, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, is leading the work at Salford Royal, commented: “We are excited to be working with Decently to share our specialist insight, to help ensure Melo™ is built in the right way and ultimately that it helps clinicians make better decisions for our patients. Reduced incidents can help improve patient experiences and outcomes as well as improve working conditions for colleagues.”

With around 50 staff from the hospital sharing their experience and insights toward the pilot phase of the app, and dedicated research assistants on the ground who will be able to observe the app’s implementation first-hand, it is hoped that this project will sign-post the beginning of a better understanding of challenging behaviours exhibited by patients recovering from brain injury or other brain conditions.