A University of Southampton student has launched a new AI-driven health analytics platform. The platform aims to make it faster, simpler and safer for patients who need chronic care.
The platform, CareIQ will save time and money for clinicians while improving patients’ daily lives while making them feel more in control. It will help them to find better solutions for their needs. It is just one of eight promising start-ups from the University of Southampton aimed at making the world smarter, safer and more unsustainable.
The start-ups were unveiled at the Future Worlds Virtual Demo Day. It pitched the platform to several investors to help launch the idea into the global market.
CareIQ data analysis platform helps uncover clinical optimisations and tracks patient progress over long periods using existing data. Its collaborative care approach allows patients to share remote readings such as blood pressure to update their clinicians on their condition. AI monitoring then identifies at-risk patients to help prioritise care.
The startup is currently focusing on managing hypertension, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma. Through their web app for clinicians, they help manage the chronic population through built-in automation. It reduces the amount of admin that GPs need to do as it reads data and provides insight. This allows doctors to spend more time with patients giving advice rather than spending time on admin.
CareIQ was created by 25-year old computer science graduate, Janu Shan and co-founder, Dr Pratheep Suntharamoorthy. The idea came from Janu’s own experience as a chronic pain patient for 18 months and his tech background.
Janu says: “I lived a healthy lifestyle until the age of 19 when I suddenly became very sick for no apparent reason. The doctors were stumped and nobody could work out what was wrong with me, which was hugely frustrating and upsetting for both me and my loved ones. I was sick for around 18 months and bed-bound for some of that, unable to do anything for myself, and it was only when a consultant saw my symptoms on a video that I was given the correct drugs that improved my condition and I can now go about my daily life”
He added: “It really made me realise the huge problems in chronic care and how this can be improved through huge advancements in technology. I wasted over a whole year of my life and time and money from the NHS on something that could have been fixed if I had immediate access to the right specialist. It’s all about information routing but the problem is, the tech and infrastructure in the NHS are currently ill-equipped to cope with chronic care and chronic disease management and that’s where CareIQ comes in.”
“Today, the processing of chronic healthcare is almost entirely manual. Our active AI monitoring on patient records can enable faster chronic disease management, helping deliver personalised care for every patient, at scale, with lower costs.”
It is estimated that 41 million people die every year from non-communicable diseases which accounts for 71 per cent of all deaths globally. Most of these deaths are unavoidable.
The NHS revealed that the 15 million people in England with long term conditions have the greatest healthcare needs of the population. They account for 50 per cent of all GP appointments and 70 per cent of all bed days. Their treatment and care absorb 70 per cent of acute and primary care budgets in England at an estimate of £7 in every £10 of total health and social care spend.
Janu adds: “Covid-19 has certainly accelerated demand and frustration and anything that can ease the increased pressure on the NHS will make a difference. Right now, the NHS is bleeding and we’re currently using sticking plaster. We need a permanent solution. With so much time being required by patients with chronic conditions such as cancer, blood pressure problems or diabetes, and with an ageing population that’s only going to get worse, we need to use technology to help us.
“Ultimately, with CareIQ we want to save lives and reduce the physical and emotional distress that so many people are suffering. There is so much cost and time involved in chronic care; 70 per cent of hospital beds are taken up by patients living with chronic pain and as it gets worse it gets even more expensive to treat with drugs and surgeries. We want to reduce the huge amount of stress that our clinicians are living with; we’ve all seen the burnout and frustrations of staff as they battle to do their best and technology can help ease that pain.”