SBRI Healthcare alumni Aseptika and health and biomedical data science company Zenzium Ltd have been awarded a grant from the UK’s innovation agency to develop a new home-based early warning system for people with severe respiratory disease.
Aseptika has been supported by Eastern AHSN and SBRI Healthcare since 2013, and was recently a recipient of further SBRI Healthcare funding to develop the Activ8rlives’ technology to support children with asthma and other long-term conditions.
Early advice from Eastern AHSN led to Aseptika previously securing SBRI competition funding to extend its Activ8rlives self-care system which tracks and analyses blood oxygen, heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, body mass and lung function.
In their early warning system, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will automatically analyse and learn from data generated by the patient at home, using easy-to-use medical monitors and wearables, which connect to Aseptika’s Activ8rlives App.
“You have a 75% chance of becoming ill in 7 days. You need to ask for help and start taking your Rescue Pack.”
This will be the level of expertise available to patients that self-care at home that suffer from severe respiratory disease when AI is combined with the latest connected home-use medical monitors and wearables, to avoid having to go to hospital.
Record numbers of patients were treated by the NHS in A&E departments last winter, and this prompted new calls to find solutions for the challenges in providing health and social care for an ageing population.
The challenge for many patients that have long-term health conditions is knowing when to act and to act sooner. Being able to tell the difference between a ‘bad day’ due to the cold weather and the start of life-threatening exacerbation can be a problem for many patients. Acting earlier means that an exacerbation can be controlled with steroids and/or antibiotics in ‘rescue packs’ that patients are issued with to keep at home for emergencies.
Aseptika and Zenzium will work together to create a system to automatically warn when a patient’s health is declining. Looking at anonymised information gathered from previous clinical trials showed that many patients do not treat exacerbations and may not even be aware that they are having them. The inflammation of lung tissue during an exacerbation leads to irreversible damage. Over time and after repeated cycles, patients develop shortness of breath and even more opportunities for infections to take hold.
With funding from Innovate UK, the two companies will develop a series of mathematical algorithms, which could be used to prewarn patients of the start of an exacerbation process and to give a risk score for predicted severity to urge earlier action. These patterns are different for each patient but are often repeated. These will be automatically analysed to give a personal detection score that will be continually updated as it learns about each patient and contributes this knowledge to evolve its understanding of these conditions.
The Companies will introduce this Smart LungHealth system in the form of the Cloud-connecting Activ8rlives4 App and will also embed the AI alerting system into Aseptika’s future wearable medical monitor called the BuddyWOTCH, currently in development.