A patient-focused partnership

Amsterdam UMC and Pacmed, a company that develops machine learning applications for healthcare, have signed a long-term cooperation agreement to help further applications of medical data science in a clinical setting. The 11-year deal aims to improve patient care at Amsterdam UMC’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) by using machine learning algorithms and AI software to support medical professionals who treat critically-ill patients. The collaboration will begin with the application of machine learning software that helps doctors to make a discharge decision at the ICU, reducing the chances of a patient being readmitted or developing complications further into their recovery.

Machine learning uses computers to analyse and find connections in large amounts of complex data. For example, a computer might examine the thousands of cases in which patients were re-admitted to a hospital after treatment to develop an algorithm that predicts the chances of re-admission for other individuals with the same condition.

Changing the way patients are treated

It is hoped the partnership will help doctors determine the best way to handle different concerns in the ICU – including when a patient can be safely transferred to another ward and when medication should be administered – by using data. In a statement, intensive care specialist Dr Paul Elbers said: “We not only want to develop and test the predictive algorithms but the software must also be implemented so that patient care becomes better and safer. Joining forces makes that possible.”

The partnership is another achievement for Amsterdam’s growing life sciences and health sector. The city is home to the European Medicines Agency and over 300 life sciences companies. Additionally, more than 600 professionals in the local area specialise in data science while local universities produce cutting-edge research. Amsterdam is also developing into a world-leading medical data science hub, and the Amsterdam Economic Board has set itself an ambitious goal to extend the average lifespan of the citizens living in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area by two years. Big data and AI are set to play a key part in reaching that target.

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.