AI-based test to help detect shock in children could save many lives
A team of Indian researchers has developed a thermal imaging and artificial intelligence-based test that predicts setting-in of haemodynamic shock -- insufficient oxygen supply to organs leading to multi-organ failure -- in children even 12 hours before doctors can clinically diagnose it. The detection of shock can prevent organ failure and save lives.
The shock in critically ill patients can set in due to various conditions, including heavy internal bleeding and severe blood infection called sepsis that leads to restricted blood flow and a resulting lack of oxygen supply to organs and tissues, causing death. Sepsis is one of the top three causes of neonatal (till end of first month) deaths in India, with the neonatal mortality rate (NMR) being 28 per 1000 live births. The new research, published in the journal Nature’s Scientific Report on January 14 this year, has been tested at the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) of Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for about a year and a half with a success rate of of 69% in detecting shock 12 hours in advance.
Children in the age group of 10 days to 15 years in the AIIMS PICU were tested for the study titled “Predicting Haemodynamic Shock from Thermal Images using Machine Learning”. The Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, (IIIT-D) and AIIMS collaborated on the five-year project that will go on till 2020.
“Since shock is a leading killer of children in ICUs, the theme of my project was how to detect it early so that treatment can be started soon enough. We developed a tool that combines reading of temperature patterns over the body using artificial intelligence,” said Dr Tavpritesh Sethi, a faculty at IIIT-D and a Welcome Trust fellow at AIIMS.
“We will also be doing pilot trials from this August until July 2020 to get an idea of the number of lives saved through this. Right now it is for children, but it can be updated for adults,” said Sethi.