Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) is a major killer in the US and the UK, but if it could be detected earlier, doctors would be able to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths. That could soon be possible after DeepMind, an AI company owned by Alphabet, developed an algorithm that can predict the presence of AKI up to 48 hours before it happens. The model correctly identified 9 out of 10 patients whose condition worsened to the point that they needed dialysis.
DeepMind also had its mobile assistant for clinicians, known as Streams, evaluated by researchers at University College London. The results show that, through the app, specialists reviewed urgent cases within 15 minutes, as opposed to several hours. And only 3.3 percent of AKI cases were missed, compared to 12.4 percent without the app. Streams also led to health care cost savings. Combined with DeepMind’s new AKI-detecting algorithm, Streams could offer improved early detection.
With these tools, DeepMind hopes to advance medicine from a reactive model to a prevention-based approach. And it doesn’t plan to stop with AKI. It will look at some of the other diseases that lead to millions of preventable deaths every year. The DeepMind team plans to carry this work forward as a part of Google Health, a partnership meant to foster global impact.