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How AI could boost diabetes approach in complex cases

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Healthcare AI artificial Intelligence

A new AI method has been developed to improve care for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who need complex treatment.

One in 10 adults worldwide have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but a smaller number require multiple medications to control blood glucose levels and avoid serious complications, such as loss of vision and kidney disease.

For this smaller group of patients, physicians may have limited clinical decision-making experience or evidence-based guidance for choosing drug combinations.

A solution could be to expand the number of patients to support development of general principles to guide decision-making.

Combining patient data from multiple healthcare institutions, however, requires deep expertise in AI and wide-ranging experience in developing machine learning models using sensitive and complex healthcare data.

Researchers have developed a new AI method that analysed electronic health record data and learned generalisable treatment patterns of type 2 diabetes patients with similar characteristics.

Those patterns can now be used to help determine an optimal drug regimen for a specific patient.

The new AI method initially groups patients with similar disease states and then analyses their treatment patterns and clinical outcomes.

It then matches the patient of interest to the disease state groups and predicts the range of potential outcomes for the patient depending on various treatment options.

Researchers evaluated how well the method worked in predicting successful outcomes given drug regimens administered to patient with diabetes in Utah and Indiana.

The algorithm was able to support medication selection for more than 83 per cent of patients, even when two or more medications were used together.

In the future, the research team expects to help patients with diabetes who require complex treatment in checking the efficacy of various drug combinations and then, with their doctors, deciding on a treatment plan that is right for them.

The study involved researchers at Hitachi and the University of Utah Health.

Hitachi aims to accelerate this area of innovation, including via the practical application of the technology through collaboration between its healthcare and IT business divisions and R&D group.

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