VA partners with DeepMind to address veterans' health risks

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The Department of Veterans Affairs and Alphabet's artificial intelligence arm DeepMind entered into a medical research partnership to study patient deterioration during hospital care.

Nearly 11 percent of in-hospital deaths around the world are the result of patient deterioration, and the new partnership seeks to identify its risk factors and predict its onset.

As part of the agreement, DeepMind will collaborate with the VA to analyze roughly 700,000 historical, de-personalized health records. They will use that data to build machine learning algorithms that pinpoint the most common signs of deterioration risk, like acute kidney injury.

"Medicine is more than treating patients' problems," said VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD. "Clinicians need to be able to identify risks to help prevent disease. This collaboration is an opportunity to advance the quality of care for our nation's Veterans by predicting deterioration and applying interventions early."

DeepMind and the VA will apply similar approaches to other deterioration risk factors.

"This project has great potential intelligently to detect and prevent deterioration before patients show serious signs of illness. Speed is vital when a patient is deteriorating: The sooner the right information reaches the right clinician, the sooner the patient can be given the right care," Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind, said.

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