Israel is using AI to flag high-risk covid-19 patients
One of Israel’s largest health maintenance organizations is using artificial intelligence to help identify which of the 2.4 million people it covers are most at risk of severe covid-19 complications. Maccabi Healthcare Services says the system—which it developed with AI company Medial EarlySign—has already flagged 2% of its members, amounting to around 40,000 people. Once identified, individuals are put on a fast track for testing.
The AI was adapted from an existing system trained to identify people most at risk from the flu, using millions of records from Maccabi going back 27 years. To make its predictions, the system draws on a range of medical data, including a person’s age, BMI, health conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, and previous history of hospital admissions. The AI can trawl through a vast number of records and spot at-risk individuals who might have been missed otherwise.
Maccabi also uses the AI to help determine the level of treatment the people it flags might require if they fall sick—whether they should be cared for at home, put up in a quarantine hotel, or admitted to hospital.
Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact
Specifically testing or using the time and resources of medical professionals to diagnose people with the virus is resource-intensive and almost impossible to do manually on a population-level. This AI will allow resources to be more effectively allocated towards the most at-risk people, thus hopefully improving public health outcomes.
Maccabi Healthcare Services; Medial EarlySign