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Kidney condition detected in minutes by app

A mobile phone app has speeded up the detection of a potentially fatal kidney condition in hospital patients. Acute kidney injury is caused by serious health conditions, including sepsis, and affects one in five people admitted to hospital. It accounts for around 100,000 deaths every year in the UK.

During a trial at London's Royal Free Hospital, doctors and nurses received warning signals via a mobile phone app in an average of 14 minutes, when patients' blood tests indicated the condition. The new alerting system, known as Streams, developed by the Royal Free with technology firm DeepMind, sends results straight to front-line clinicians in the form of easy-to-read results and graphs.

This could could save the NHS an average of £2,000 per patient by alerting clinicians to acute kidney injury sooner. However, although the findings, published in the journal Nature Digital Medicine, led to earlier recognition, it did not lead to any improvements in the primary outcome measure (renal recovery) or in secondary outcomes, which included survival, length of stay in hospital, and admission to the intensive care unit.

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Source: BBC News, 1 August 2019


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