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This June, Chicago-based Allstar Healthcare Solutions, Inc., announced a partnership with the Israeli company MedAware that aims to drastically reduce medical errors and increase patient safety with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. MedAware was founded in 2012 after a nine-year-old boy in Israel tragically died from a brain hemorrhage as a result of being prescribed a blood-thinner instead of an asthma medication. It was later revealed that the prescribing doctor had made the simple mistake of clicking on “Sintrom” instead of “Singulair” in the online medication system.

After hearing about the boy’s death, Dr. Gidi Stein, who graduated with a MD then PhD in Computational Biology from Tel Aviv University, was inspired to come up with a way to prevent this type of error from happening again. With his background in both medicine and technology, Dr. Stein created multiple distinct AI systems designed to increase patient safety in medical cases:

  1. MedAware Alerting System (MedAS): A self-learning system that alerts physicians when they prescribe medication that might be dangerous given the patient’s information. The doctor is also alerted when updated information, such as the results from a blood test, is added that might create new risks.
  2. MedAware Risk Management (MEDRim): A tool that compares patient and prescription data to data from previous patients who were treated in the same hospital. It can also map out which departments and/or physicians have a higher rate of errors than others.
  3. MedAware Quality Control (MedQC): A tool that compares treatment plans for patients who have similar complex diseases. Knowing the outcome of other cases can provide insight to the doctor about potential courses of action to take or things to avoid.

They also have a system that allows doctors to adjust which notifications they are getting to avoid getting too many “false alarms.”

In other words, MedAware uses millions of clinical records to alert doctors of potential ways their prescription could be harming the patient. For example, MedAware would have been able to alert the doctor who accidentally clicked on the blood-thinner by letting him know it could be an error. He would have seen it, clicked on the right prescription, and the 9-year old’s death would have been avoided. MedAware would then “learn” from that experience and adjust to become more accurate at preventing future errors.

In the United States alone, 1.5 million deaths and injuries occur annually due to patients not being prescribed the right medication. If MedAware caught even one percent of these errors, 15,000 people could be protected every year. Ultimately, the development of AI tools such as Medaware’s has the potential to be groundbreaking in helping patients receive the proper medication, reduce their medical costs, and save their lives.

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