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  • Nicholas Mellor

AI as a “force multiplier” in building capacity to assist amputees?

Operational artificial intelligence can accelerate the integration of health and care for trauma patients, especially those with limb loss or amputation. These patients will go a long way from stabilization to rehabilitation.

Tracking information, during this journey or “longitudinally”, can help predict when these people will be unwell or ready to move on to the next stage of their support. This information can also be shared with both the patient and their officials and carers to help provide a more consistent level of support in overburdened health systems that are often struggling to meet urgent demands, or to try to provide more comprehensive support to a system where services were "isolated" around traditional medical specializations.

One organization following this approach is Cera, one of Europe's largest providers of digital healthcare at home. Cera caregivers and nurses collect patient symptom information and health data during home visits, using artificial intelligence algorithms to predict deterioration before it happens, initiating early health interventions to prevent deterioration. The approach helped them:

· decrease in hospitalization rate by an unprecedented 52%

· up to 80% of hospitalizations were predicted seven days in advance

· reduction of patient falls by ~17%

· reduction of urination problems by ~47%

· reduction of infections by ~15%

· helped improve medication and prescription adherence in elderly patients by 35%.

In the United States, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is using operational artificial intelligence to improve the quality of care for veterans. For example, the VHA uses artificial intelligence to identify patients who are at risk of developing chronic diseases.

Limb loss or amputation can have a significant impact on a person's physical and mental health and often requires a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and care. Health and care system integration can help ensure that these patients receive comprehensive and coordinated care across multiple health care providers and settings.

Below are a few examples of how operational AI can accelerate the integration of health and care for patients affected by limb loss or amputation:

Prosthetic Limb Design and Customization: Artificial intelligence can be used to analyze data from patient assessments, medical images, and other sources to create a personalized design and fit for a prosthetic limb. This can improve patient outcomes by ensuring that the prosthesis fits well and functions effectively.

Artificial intelligence has the potential to accelerate the integration of health and care for patients affected by limb loss or amputation by supporting the personalized design and customization of prosthetic limbs, physical therapy and rehabilitation, pain management and mental health support.

However, it is important to ensure that AI is implemented responsibly and ethically, and that patient privacy and safety are maintained throughout the process.

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