How hospitals are using AI to save their sickest patients and curb ‘alarm fatigue’


Early tests suggest artificial intelligence can improve patient care in hospitals’ intensive care units while helping curb “alarm fatigue.”Woody Harrington / for NBC News

Early tests show artificial “assistants” can help doctors and nurses spot potentially deadly problems in time to take life-saving action.

From interpreting CT scans to diagnosing eye disease, artificial intelligence is taking on medical tasks once reserved for only highly trained medical specialists — and in many cases outperforming its human counterparts.

Now AI is starting to show up in intensive care units, where hospitals treat their sickest patients. Doctors who have used the new systems say AI may be better at responding to the vast trove of medical data collected from ICU patients — and may help save patients who are teetering between life and death.

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Maryland test confirms drones can safely deliver human organs


C6128F35-F032-4E68-99C8-CF652AC2808EDrone with organ delivery box.

Researchers from the University of Maryland attach a cooler containing a kidney to a DJI M600 Pro drone in preparation for a test flight.

When a patient who needs an organ transplantation is finally matched with a donor, every second matters. A longer wait between when an organ is removed from a donor and when it is placed into a recipient is associated with poorer organ function following transplantation. To maximize the chances of success, organs must be shipped from A to B as quickly and as safely as possible—and a recent test run suggests that drones are up to the task.

One transplant surgeon’s personal experience at the operating table, waiting for organs to arrive, prompted him to think of new forms of delivery. “I frequently encounter situations where there’s simply no way to get an organ to me fast enough to do a transplant, and then those life-saving organs do not get transplanted into my patient,” says Dr. Joseph Scalea of the University of Maryland Medical Center. “And that’s frustrating, so I wanted to develop a better system for doing that.”

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Artificial intelligence can now predict suicide with incredible accuracy

AI Suicide 2

When someone commits suicide, their family and friends can be left with the heartbreaking and answerless question of what they could have done differently. Colin Walsh, data scientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, hopes his work in predicting suicide risk will give people the opportunity to ask “what can I do?” while there’s still a chance to intervene.

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Some hospitals are allowing patients to be hospitalized at home


The program provides hospital-level care while sparing the patient the possible discomforts of a hospital stay. 

When 82 year old Martin Fernandez went to Mount Sinai Hospital’s emergency room recently with a high fever and excruciating abdominal pain, he and his family were asked an unexpected question. He would have to be officially admitted to receive intravenous antibiotics for his urinary tract infection. But he could stay at Mount Sinai, or he could receive treatment at home.

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How do we stop hospitals from killing us?

Medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets

If there is even a minor airplane crash in the U.S., it makes the headlines. There is a thorough federal investigation, and the tragedy often yields important lessons for the aviation industry. Pilots and airlines thus learn how to do their jobs more safely.



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How your pillow is an ideal breeding ground for undesirable pests and diseases


Pillows are ideal breeding grounds for undesirables ranging from the superbugs MRSA and C.diff to flu, chicken pox and even leprosy.

a study has found that up to a third of the weight of your pillow could be made up of bugs, dead skin, dust mites and their feces.


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Hospitals Shifting From Smoke-Free to Smoker-Free Workplaces

doctor smoking

Smoking habit could cost you your job if you work at a hospital.

Smokers now face another risk from their habit: it could cost them a shot at a job.  More hospitals and medical businesses in many states are adopting strict policies that make smoking a reason to turn away job applicants, saying they want to increase worker productivity, reduce health care costs and encourage healthier living.

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