NHS deploys new AI tech to reduce strain on staff and limit unnecessary self-isolation
The Norwich-born firm’s technology is being used by the NHS free of charge to provide personalised, contextual advice on self-isolation to staff showing COVID-19 symptoms.
Norwich, United Kingdom, 20th April 2020: Leading intelligent automation firm, Rainbird, has partnered with the NHS, using its rapid deployment programme to build an online interactive tool that provides tailored advice on appropriate self-isolation measures to NHS staff.
The tool, which was developed to address the staff resourcing challenges currently faced by the NHS, can be updated within minutes to reflect shifts in national guidance, and personalised to NHS organisations. This partnership follows an open letter from the Rainbird CEO offering its technology free of charge to those supporting vulnerable individuals during this time.
The tool, which is currently being used by the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Foundation Trust (NNUH), will help hospital services to manage their staff resourcing challenges. It will also provide appropriate next steps to those with COVID-19 symptoms by combining NHS and government guidance. The tool is also being extended to give advice on which workers to test for COVID-19.
The tool requires staff members to enter identification credentials, before being taken through a series of questions on the presence of symptoms and how long they and other members of their household have experienced them. Staff are instantly provided with a PDF document that can be presented to their supervisor and explains guidance created specifically for that member of staff.
Dr Robert Hardman, Consultant in Occupational Medicine at NNUH, said: “This is a vital tool for a number of reasons - not only does it help to protect front-line staff and their colleagues in this time of great need, it will also significantly reduce pressure on occupational health services by giving staff another option for support if they develop symptoms.”
He continued: “Unfortunately, there is still some confusion around how the guidelines on self-isolation apply to NHS workers, which could lead to preventable infection and added strain on our service by longer than needed isolation. This resource will remove that uncertainty and allow staff to inform their line manager they will be absent in one seamless process.”
James Duez, CEO of Rainbird, commented: “We are fully committed, at an individual and organisational level, to doing all we can to support those combatting this global outbreak. Especially our NHS. Our flexible technology can be quickly adapted to suit the nuanced and complex individual circumstances of NHS workers, effectively turning what would be a software development task to a clinical one and markedly streamlining operations.”
“Already, we are planning other forms of support, including a comprehensive risk assessment for staff, taking into account pre-existing conditions, their ability to wear PPE and other factors. We see immense potential for this tool, something reinforced by approaches Rainbird has had from other organisations seeking to push this technology to other countries, including those within Africa where the disease and preparedness is tracking some weeks behind the UK.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by James Duez .