Can artificial intelligence (AI) help in the fight against healthcare-associated infections? Patients being infected with diseases while staying at hospitals is a global issue. A group of researchers at Halmstad University is investigating whether AI can help find solutions to the problems of healthcare-associated infections – on social media.
“Many hospitals are very concerned about healthcare-associated infections. They can close entire departments if there is an infection going around,” says Fábio Gama, senior lecturer in Healthcare Innovation at Halmstad University and project manager for the research project Automatic Idea Detection: Implementing artificial intelligence in medical technology innovation.
Scanning digital platforms to identify new solutions is one way to discover innovative care methods. AI algorithms can scan large amounts of information and automatically detect ideas that users have contributed. The system is called Automatic Idea Detection (AID).
“In this project, we have turned to social media to see what healthcare workers around the world are trying to do and communicate – and if they might be using any new methods to control or prevent healthcare-associated infections. With AI, we can find the needle in the haystack,” says Fábio Gama.
The world is full of innovative ideas
Healthcare-associated infections mean that people who enter the hospital to receive treatment for one disease end up infected with another one, and it is one of the biggest issues in hospitals around the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, many people who were hospitalised for other reasons ended up contracting the coronavirus while in hospital.
At the same time, the world is full of healthcare workers with innovative ideas that could provide solutions to the issue. This is why the group of researchers is investigating whether AI can help detect good ideas that can prevent or control healthcare-associated infections.
The project Automatic Idea Detection: implementing artificial intelligence in medical technology innovation runs until March 2024 and is carried out in collaboration with the health and hygiene company Essity. In the study, the researchers have chosen to focus on Twitter and tweets in English, but the model can also be used on other platforms and for many other types of problems and languages.