Chronic health issues incur huge costs for individuals, their families, the institutions and systems that provide care and support, as well as society overall. Patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes, and similar issues are bogged down by regular doctor visits and can suffer through gradual deterioration between those visits, sometimes leading to unexpected medical events—events that may require urgent and serious care. Care providers face the challenge of giving the best possible support to as many patients as possible within their significant, but still finite, resources.
Worldwide, chronic diseases are responsible each year for an estimated 41 million deaths, which amounts to 71% percent of all deaths. Younger individuals are increasingly impacted: for individuals between 30 and 69 years of age, 15 million died as a result of a chronic disease in 2016. The cost of chronic disease is alarming. In the U.S., for example, caring for individuals with these conditions adds up to as much as 66% of all national healthcare expenditures and 98% of total Medicare expenditures. It is estimated that global spending on healthcare will increase by 4% each year, globally. Much of this is driven by the chronic disease burden which will hit $47T by 2030.
International healthcare solutions provider AccuHealth is using advanced analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) on Intel® architecture to deliver better care for patients with chronic ailments, while also reducing costs to insurers by up to 50% per patient. Founded in 2010 in Chile, AccuHealth applies a high-tech, high-touch approach to care.
AccuHealth’s model is proactive and home-based, striving to shift the balance away from reactive healthcare to continuous health and wellness. Patients like Luis A. Lizame, who suffers from high blood pressure, receive a customized kit containing a set of biometric sensors and a portable telemonitoring device called AccuMedic. AccuMedic is based on the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3200 processor, which supports communications over Wi-Fi or 3G cellular networks and is ideal for low-power smart IoT applications.
The AccuMedic hub guides patients like Luis through scheduled check-ups, customized for him. Patients can test for blood pressure, blood sugar level, weight, and other indicators, and also answer multiple-choice questions about how they’re feeling.
These individually-tailored home-based assessments enable AccuHealth’s patients to test their condition with more frequency, regularity, and far greater convenience than traveling to a healthcare facility. With patient biometric data and home-based testing, AccuHealth can continuously monitor patients and keep in touch with changes in their medical condition.
Families of patients are also integrated into the care strategy. Family members are trained with AccuMedic and receive regular support following, guiding them on how to help with the patient’s nutrition, exercise, and avoidance of critical situations. Families may also be engaged through AccuMedic when patients become less compliant or demonstrate high-risk patterns. Relatives become part of the care solution, helping patients feel less isolated and receive even better care.
While AccuHealth’s IoT home-based model is innovative on its own, it’s only half the story. The most important part of AccuHealth’s approach is happening in its data center powered by Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. AccuBrain, AccuHealth’s AI and advanced analytics engine, combines patient biometric, self-assessment, and demographic data with machine learning algorithms and predictive models based on population data. Additionally, AccuBrain continues to improve its algorithms as it ingests more data from patients and from the interactions between AccuHealth staff and patients, families, and caregivers. AccuBrain helps identify potential health issues before they escalate, cueing interventions that keep patients healthier, and enabling healthcare professionals in AccuHealth’s Virtual Hospital to proactively encourage positive behaviors that can improve quality of life and decrease the overall cost of care.
This home-based, predictive approach to care has had a positive impact on patients like Luis as well as care providers. Luis credits AccuHealth with improving his peace of mind and quality of life. Maria Isabel Rivas Verdugo, who relies on AccuHealth to help manage her hypertension and diabetes, reports that AccuHealth has positively impacted her nutrition and overall wellness . AccuHealth has also been shown to reduce ER visits by up to 42%, and costs to insurers by up to 50% per patient when treating patients with the most highly-complex, costly chronic care issues.
AccuHealth accomplished this on the Intel® Xeon® processors they already had deployed in their data center, without the need to invest in specialty hardware. Further, after a recent upgrade from Intel Xeon processor E5-2630 v2 to Intel Xeon Silver 4114 processors, AccuHealth has seen significant improvements in the execution times of certain processes important to their predictive models, enabling them to deliver critical interventions to patients in when they are in need of care.
As AccuHealth demonstrates, medicine is becoming more personalized, predictive, effective, efficient, and home-based. The tools delivering these advances aren’t the stethoscopes and x-ray machines found in hospitals. Rather, they’re the converged AI and advanced analytics applications occurring all the way from the patient at the edge, to the network, to the cloud and data center, and everywhere in between – workloads that require the versatility of the Intel Xeon Scalable processors already used for so many other critical workloads.
We, at Intel, are excited about the potential of AccuHealth’s model to improve care for patients, like Maria and Luis, around the world. After achieving success in Chile, AccuHealth is now expanding to Colombia and working to build its first U.S.-based hospital in New Jersey. Intel and AccuHealth look forward to continuing to work together to positively impact patient lives and increase efficiency in healthcare systems. For more on AccuHealth, please view this video (also embedded above) and listen to Xavier’s interview with the Intel Chip Chat Podcast. For more on AI on Intel architecture, please visit ai.intel.com and intel.com/health.
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