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New algorithm ‘to predict patient’s mental health crisis before it happens’

HEALTH NOTES: New algorithm ‘to predict patient’s mental health crisis before it occurs’

A computer program is being developed to predict a patient’s mental health crisis before it occurs.

In trials, the algorithm detected upcoming emergencies, such as the need for hospitalization, in half of the cases up to a month before they occurred.

The researchers, from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, used seven years of anonymous health records to develop the program. In two-thirds of cases, technology was used to prevent situations from escalating or to reduce the caseload for emergency physicians.

Former NHS psychiatrist Dr Oliver Harrison, chief executive of the digital firm Koa Health, which helped develop the technology, says: “We want to move from reactive care to proactive care.”

A computer program is being developed to predict a patient's mental health crisis before it happens

A computer program is being developed to predict a patient’s mental health crisis before it happens

In trials, the algorithm detected upcoming emergencies, such as the need for hospitalization, in half of the cases up to a month before they occurred.

In trials, the algorithm detected upcoming emergencies, such as the need for hospitalization, in half of the cases up to a month before they occurred.

One in four Brits don’t think they need to wear sunscreen when in the UK, according to a study.

While 90 per cent of the 2,200 people surveyed by digital pharmacy Medino said they apply sunscreen when abroad, a quarter think the UK sun is “not strong enough” to cause damage on the skin.

However, experts warn that cases of the most serious form of skin cancer, melanoma, have risen by a third in the last decade in the UK.

Pharmacist Giulia Guerrini says: ‘Ingredients to look out for in your sunscreen include homosalate and octyl salicylate.’

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