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Aseptika and Zenzium Win Innovate UK funding to build Artificial Intelligence (AI) into Apps and Medical Wearables: supporting patients with respiratory disease

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Monday 12th March 2018, St Ives, Cambridgeshire: Aseptika and Zenzium, Ltd., have been awarded a grant from the UK’s innovation agency to develop a new home-based early warning system for people with severe respiratory disease. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will automatically analyse and learn from data generated by the patient at home, using easy-to-use medical monitors and wearables, which connect to Aseptika’s Activ8rlives App.

“You have a 75% chance of becoming ill in 7 days. You need to ask for help and start taking your Rescue Pack.”

This will be the level of expertise available to patients that self-care at home that suffer from severe respiratory disease when AI is combined with the latest connected home-use medical monitors and wearables to avoid having to go to hospital.

The Winter of 2017-2018 will be remembered as the time the NHS treated a record number of patients in its A&E departments. Planning for this was extensive, but demand outstripped supply and NHS frontline staff worked around the clock, prompting new calls to find solutions for the challenges in providing health and social care for an ageing population.

The challenge for many patients that have long-term health conditions is knowing when to act and to act sooner. Being able to tell the difference between a “bad day” due to the cold weather and the start of life-threatening exacerbation can be a problem for many patients.

Acting earlier means that an exacerbation can be controlled with steroids and/or antibiotics in “rescue packs” that patients are issued with to keep at home for emergencies. All too often, patients start using their rescue packs too late and their health deteriorates quickly. Many patients admitted as an emergency this winter, were suffering from respiratory conditions set-off by the winter flu.

Aseptika and Zenzium will work together to create a system to automatically warn when the patients health is declining. Looking at anonymised information gathered from previous clinical trials showed that many patients do not treat exacerbations and may not even be aware that they are having them. Some perhaps delay treatment hoping that things will get better by themselves. The inflammation of lung tissue during an exacerbation leads to irreversible damage. Over time and after repeated cycles, patients develop shortness of breath and even more opportunities for infections to take hold, in a downward spiral.

With funding from Innovate UK, the two companies will develop a series of mathematical algorithms, which could be used to prewarn patients of the start of an exacerbation process and to give a risk score for predicted severity to urge earlier action. These patterns are different for each patient but are often repeated. These will be automatically analysed to give a personal detection score that will be continually updated as it learns about each patient and contributes this knowledge to evolve its understanding of these conditions.

The Companies will introduce this Smart LungHealth system in the form of the Cloud-connecting Activ8rlives4 App and will also embed the AI alerting system into Aseptika’s future wearable medical monitor called the BuddyWOTCH, currently in development.

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