Prevention: a New Concept?



Prevention: a New Concept?

Data and AI are changing the landscape for prevention, allowing us to get ahead of problems and improve individual outcomes

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Our parents and grandparents gave us proverbs as children – ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ and ‘nip it in the bud’ but where do these pithy words of wisdom drive their origin from?

‘Prevention is better than cure’ was attributed to the Dutch philosopher Erasmus in around 1500, ‘Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them’ to Albert Einstein, ‘Prevention is the daughter of intelligence’ to Walter Raleigh and ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ to Benjamin Franklin in the 1800’s.

Prevention is far from a new concept and many countries want to see it as a principal feature of the health and care systems but frequently the system itself is designed to intervene at the point of crisis – 111, 999 calls and hospital admissions are all based on responding when something has happened.

Resources are stretched, budget is allocated for crisis management and dealing with critical cases takes up the resources leaving little or no room for prevention.

However, Data and AI is changing the landscape for prevention. It’s giving us the insight to view the near future. It’s enabling us to get ahead of problems – improving individual outcomes and saving money. South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust saw an 80% reduction in hospital admissions by using MySense in a group of patients.

MySense is helping change the way people are cared for using pioneering predictive science.

We know ourselves that when we are unwell our daily activities change – our sleep patterns disrupt, our eating habits change and our heart rates might look different. Detecting these things using an attractive wearable and discreetly placed passive sensors in the home means that MySense is your AI driven notification system – giving advance notice to you, loved ones and professionals of changes in your wellbeing.

Understanding activities of daily living gives us wellbeing insights that enable us to identify what is ‘normal’ for a person and highlight changes that need attention. Using AI means even the smallest changes get detected early for example UTI’s present in disturbed sleep patterns days before a clinician would be able to diagnose it. The AI picks up on this change of behaviour to highlight an area to focus on.

Next time you hear the phrase ‘prevention is better than cure’ think of how far we have come from Erasmus’s statement over 500 years ago and how Data and AI are poised to bring this statement to fruition.

Olivia Harker

UK Managing Director


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