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Generative AI used to create translatable paediatric care videos for LMIC hospitals



A team of US researchers has turned to generative AI to tackle problems plaguing child medical care delivery in resource-poor countries that increase risk for poor outcomes and mortality.

The clinicians developed a series of 45 multilingual videos, each ranging from three to eight minutes long, designed to educate providers around the world on paediatric care topics such as teamwork, how to improve interpersonal communication, “How I Do It” surgical procedures and transitions from hospital to home.

The videos were recorded in English then translated to Spanish using OpenAI’s GPT-4.

The videos were then enriched using synthetic voice avatars of native speakers.

The videos are designed to be viewed on smartphones, which are more accessible than laptops in some healthcare settings.

According to senior study author Christopher Hartnick, MD, the impetus for creating the videos was inspired through experiences with a foundation he co-founded called CareWays Collaborative, a nonprofit global health mission organisation affiliated with Mass Eye and Ear and Massachusetts General Hospital, members of Mass General Brigham.

Hartnick said: “What became clear as a I took a step back was that a lot of children in these countries were getting sick and dying from things like sepsis and trauma, and would wind up in ICUs needing the type of collaborative care that we taught with airway surgery.

“We asked how often do these errors occur and what can we do to help?

“It was evident that we needed to help teach a culture of care and to better understand the existing clinical knowledge gaps so we could best address them head on.”

During two mission trips to Guatemala and Colombia, the researchers conducted needs assessments from the medical staff to guide which questions would be needed for the educational videos.

Using these insights, paediatric clinicians created concise narrated videos recorded at Mass General Brigham sites to encapsulate key aspects of pediatric care, providing teachings on surgical procedures, perioperative care, patient journeys and directing to educational resources with best-practice guidelines for patients and caregivers.

Hartnick then turned to a member of his lab who designs innovative otolaryngology tools, Fouzi Benboujja, PhD, and also enlisted his daughter, Elizabeth Hartnick, an applied math major at Brown University, to manage the technical aspects of using GPT4 and video software to translate the videos and develop synthetic voice profiles to match authentic local speech.

Each video gets organised into sub-specialty-specific chapters within the Canvas educational platform, and the researchers hope this categorisation can help providers search easily for information most pertinent to them.

For example, there are 19 instructional videos for paediatric intensivists, including video instruction on “how to tape and secure an endotracheal tube,” “how to dress, access and care for a central venous catheter” and “how to prevent ventilator-related pneumonias.”

So far, the videos have been distributed in Guatemala, including to a group of 150 nurses, and Colombia, garnering positive feedback.

The research team plans to track patient outcomes for complications and mortality in hospitals and whether these videos might offer a positive impact.

They also hope to translate to the videos in other languages.

Senior-author Phoebe Yager, MD is chief of the Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Mass General for Children.

She said: “It is so exciting to harness the power of AI to translate this video-based curriculum into multiple languages in such an efficient manner.

“This ability to broaden the reach of our curriculum centered around multidisciplinary care captures our longstanding mission to foster inclusivity and communication in global health.”

With further refining of large-language models, such tools have potential to disrupt how medical education is provided, Hartnick added.

The researcher said: “Global health has been constrained by language issues across the world.

“Once you translate the needs of providers in other countries, you need to respond to their needs.

“Generative AI provides a way to translate into a format they can understand and process in their work.”

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