UCLH and UCL develop AI to identify patients likely to skip appointments

Researchers at UCLH and UCL have developed artificial intelligence to predict which patients are most likely to miss appointments.

A team from UCLH and UCL created an algorithm using records from 22,000 appointments for MRI scans, allowing it to identify 90% of those patients who would not attend.

“On average we estimate this could save £2-3 per appointment,” Parashkev Nachev, of UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at UCLH, told The Guardian. “Given that a big hospital could have nearly a million scheduled events per year, that could potentially be a lot of resource.”

The project is part of a broader programme at UCLH and UCL that aims to bring the benefits of the machine-learning revolution to the NHS.

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, called for AI-based approaches to be rolled out more widely. “Missed hospital appointments waste patient and staff time, prevent sick people from being seen at the earliest opportunity and cost our amazing NHS an unjustifiable amount of money,” he said.

“Artificial intelligence has enormous potential to revolutionise healthcare and this is exactly the type of innovation our NHS needs to embrace to ensure every penny goes further as part of the Long Term Plan.”

Read more in the Guardian here.