August 13, 2018

Big Data - AI - ‘Can we really understand and trust the data’?

Tom Parsons

José Pedro Almeida, Director of Big Data Analytics & Machine Learning, @ São João Hospital

Every day, when a physician walks down the 2nd floor of the 1100 beds São João Hospital, his mobile phone might pop-up the following message: “HVITAL Alert: Concerning Signs of Hemodynamic Instability and Systemic Inflammation have just been detected in Patient bed nº 701, 9th floor. The patient’s heart rate is going up, blood pressure is dropping seriously and his C - reactive protein has reached a concerning peak”.  All this complex reasoning is done by a disruptive Big Data platform called HVITAL, which is capturing and correlating 30 million patient records every minute coming from 30 disparate sources, trying to proactively detect and alert to patients at risk, in an automated fashion.

The smart medicine revolution is in place at São João, and not only in this area. For instance, to choose the best empiric antibiotic to apply in each infection and ward, doctors are now starting to trust HVITAL predictions before relying on their intuition, as it is able to run an automated analysis over 2 million probabilities related to the comparison of susceptibility rates inside the hospital, in a flash of a second.

We hear a lot of hype around Big Data & AI in Hospitals, but few concrete examples still exist. The fact that this a not a proof-of-concept, but rather an advanced solution working live, every day, to help physicians and nurses with actionable insights and alerts, makes a difference.

José Pedro has been the mentor of this HVITAL platform and, as the Director of Big Data Analytics & Machine Learning, he leads a team that tries to develop the next generation of data-driven care at São João.

He is a digital health innovator, passionate about using Big Data & AI to revolutionize patient-care.

The work that José Pedro has developed was awarded the 1st prize in the “2016 HIMSS Europe Digital Healthcare award (Barcelona)” and the 1st prize in “2014 Microsoft Health Innovation Award (Orlando)”.

The EU Innovation Commissionaire publicly references José Pedro’s work as an “outstanding example of Health Innovation in the EU”. He has also been cited by the Portuguese Media as “One of the 30 Portuguese people that are changing the world”.

“I believe in the world where data is the new diamond, but only when we transform it in such a way that it becomes actionable. I am fortunate to live in the era where technologies such as Machine Learning or Big Data Analytics are at our disposal. If we learn how they work and apply them at the right place and at the right time, they can become an outstanding assistant to help physicians and nurses save more lives”