Healthcare

Case study: assessing COVID-19 risk for thousands within minutes

NNUH COVID Tool Case Study
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Challenge: getting a team of less than 20 to have the impact of 1000s

Like many other NHS trusts, the occupational health team at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals (NNUH) trust was significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

Hilary Winch, Head of Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing at NNUH, explains:

“I recall very distinctly, Boris [Johnson] announcing the shielding guidance late one evening and I knew full well that our phone would be ringing the next morning… In those initial few weeks, we spoke to over 3,500 staff who were concerned about their own health or the health of those they lived with. It was just crazy… It was quite horrific actually.”

Hilary’s team is responsible for the health and safety of staff members within her NHS trust. With the advent of the coronavirus, it received its biggest workload, with the pressure of needing to speak to as many people as quickly as possible. Every NHS trust needed to deliver diagnostic and therapeutic services to the public but, to do this effectively, they needed to ensure their stretched workforces weren’t further decimated by COVID-19 infections. 

Equally importantly was meeting their duty of care to employees’ protection and wellbeing. NNUH needed to ensure staff wouldn’t be placed in needlessly life-threatening situations.

Approach: create a digital clone of your best specialists’ know-how

Dr Robert Hardman, Consultant in Occupational Medicine at Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing, is a specialist who works on Hilary’s team. While the team was having manual conversations with staff members more vulnerable to COVID, Dr Hardman began talking to Rainbird about how automation and AI might help. 

In a typical occupational health assessment, Dr Hardman and his colleagues go through (broadly speaking) a few steps: 

  1. Conduct interviews with staff members (gather information)
  2. Assess each staff member’s risk, based on their personal circumstances, government policy and clinical guidance (make a judgement)
  3. Document the information gathered and judgment made, especially for future reference or subsequent assessments (record data)

Rainbird’s intelligent decision automation platform could help across all three steps, given: 

  1. It can interact with people using a conversational, chat-style interface to gather information
  2. It can hold a model of an expert’s decision-making process and connect that model to data so it can automate decisions
  3. It can automate the process of deciding which pieces of information to record, as well as where and how

According to Hilary, the interviews alone were time-consuming: 

“You would speak with a staff member probably for a good 20 minutes to half an hour, to find out their own personal health information, assess this against the knowledge we were gaining  and talk through their anxieties.”

So, we built a Rainbird model of Dr Hardman’s expertise in conducting COVID-19 risk assessments, and incorporated government policy and clinical guidelines. 

Instead of the occupational health team having to manually assess every employee, staff could complete an online chat with Rainbird’s tool—which would ask for all relevant information, make a risk level judgment and send key information to the appropriate records.

Results: superhuman speed and accuracy, with a real human touch

Increased testing speed and accuracy

In the words of Hilary, “We can get all 9,000 staff, in theory, doing their risk assessments at the same time. We couldn’t do all 9,000 staff manually at the same time.”

Because Rainbird’s tool relies on computing power, you can run as many concurrent risk assessments as needed. Rainbird’s tool takes the expertise of a specialist and applies it consistently, every single time. 

It also accounts for unique risks to Black, Asian and Middle Eastern (BAME) people and other highly vulnerable groups—and did so early on (when many manual risk assessments did not).

Privacy protected

When undergoing risk assessments, staff often have to divulge sensitive health information. For this reason, it’s uncomfortable and borderline unethical to have line managers conducting these. 

In Hilary’s words, “Somebody might have kept some of that health information very, very private… You know, if they’ve got an immunosuppressed condition… they may not want to tell their manager.”

For this reason, Rainbird’s tool doesn’t store the personal information of staff. And when a consultation is complete, it automatically sends out two reports. One is for the occupational health team (contains detailed health information and the rationale underlying the employee’s risk rating) and the other is for managers/HR (contains only the risk rating and no health information). 

This way, managers aren’t exposed to inappropriate information and staff don’t have their privacy violated. 

Increased capacity for human connection

Machines can perform logical analyses but can’t deliver emotional connection—the COVID-19 pandemic has required Hilary’s team to excel at both. 

Because Rainbird’s tool is doing the heavy lifting of performing COVID risk assessments, Hilary and her team are freed up to have one-on-one conversations, where a human touch is needed: 

“What it meant for us was, when we launched, we were able to focus on having those conversations—particularly with those people who were shielding… we had a one-on-one conversation with every single one of them to talk through their anxieties and explore risk mitigations methods to get them back to a safe place of work, once shielding ended.”

Reduced bias and inconsistency

In situations with heightened emotions, increased complexity and overwhelming volumes, human error abounds. This is true, no matter the organisation or individual. 

Because Rainbird’s tool applies its model of COVID-19 risk without prejudice, emotions or fatigue, it doesn’t give inconsistent or contradictory outcomes. The result is a much higher level of accuracy in risk assessments and less exposure to risk for employees.

Regular reassessments that minimise risk

Since Rainbird’s tool helps Hilary’s team complete super-accurate COVID-19 risk assessments, at such a high volume and with little administrative burden, it is now possible to run risk assessments more regularly. 

This is necessary for dealing with highly dynamic situations like the COVID-19 pandemic—new information about the virus (e.g. if certain individuals are at greater risk of death from COVID than others) is constantly emerging. As a result, government guidance, clinical measures and employee risk profiles are constantly changing. 

People’s health or personal circumstances may also change—an employee may develop a separate illness that increases their vulnerability to COVID-19 or they may become pregnant and have concerns about being in the workplace. A one-off risk assessment provides a “one-off” outcome for that time. If things change, then a risk assessment has to be reviewed and that is no different for this global pandemic. If only undertaken once, a risk assessment could provide a dangerously inaccurate picture.

Get access to Rainbird's COVID-19 occupational health risk assessment tool
The only way to responsibly meet NHS E&I’s requirement to risk assess all vulnerable staff is with an automated tool like ours. Get your trust access to our approved COVID-19 risk assessment tool today.

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Neural networks can disempower human workers: the case for human intervention amidst rapid AI adoption

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Neural networks have become the alchemy of our age, the search for a magical, mystical process that allows you to turn a pile of data into gold. It is widely seen as a silver bullet that can generate new insights and expert decisions on an unprecedented speed and scale. Yet this ignores the reality that ‘deep learning’ systems are difficult to create or audit and most organisations lack the necessary in-house expertise or ‘data hygiene’ to use it effectively.

To read the full article, see Neural networks can disempower human workers: the case for human intervention amidst rapid AI adoption on Digitalisation World. 

 

 

 

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AI is matching doctors at image-based diagnosis

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Research suggests deep learning algorithms have become as good at image-based medical diagnosis as human doctors – and maybe even better.

“The feasibility of this approach must be considered hand-in-hand with the issue of trust,” added James Duez, CEO and co-founder of automation software vendor Rainbird.

“Any AI-powered decision must have an interpretable rationale if the technology is to be trusted and scale, a limitation to many machine-learnt approaches. That’s why in most cases, a human domain expert (in this case a radiologist) must review the AI opinion and put their name to it.”

To read the full article, see AI is matching doctors at image-based diagnosis on AI Business.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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Explainable AI: Dissecting the development of auditable artificial intelligence

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Ben Taylor, CTO of Rainbird, discusses the issues of transparency in the way that AI operates – especially when it comes to algorithms which make financial, legal or healthcare decisions

Read the full article, Explainable AI: Dissecting the development of auditable artificial intelligence on Computing.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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How AI can simplify mergers and acquisitions

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CTO of Rainbird, Ben Taylor, is featured in IT Pro on the importance of auditability in automated M&A decisions:

“If a financial institution gave incorrect advice that led to a failed merger, it might be difficult to tell how the neural network got the decision wrong.”

Read the full article, How AI can simplify mergers and acquisitions, on IT Pro.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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Ben Taylor talks Explainable AI

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Rainbird’s CEO & Co-Founder talks about Explainable AI & Transparency.

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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Rainbird is Crossing The Pond

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This winter Rainbird is embarking on another stateside visit marked by an appearance at AI Summit New York. We’ll be spanning the East Coast of the country from 3rd to 13th December – and we’re not coming just for scenery. The purpose of our visit: to enhance our US chapter and further engage with like-minded collaborators, as we aim to transform the business landscape of the future.

Combine human expertise with AI-powered automation

Wherever strategic decisions are made and expertise is consistently required, Rainbird can slot into the backbone of an organisation, integrated with APIs or RPA and accessed via consultative chatbots.


Improving fraud detection

Nothing beats human understanding when trying to investigate the nuances of potential fraud cases, and this understanding is exactly what Rainbird allows you to scale. Watch COO and fraud expert James Loft talking to Lloyds Bank about the evolution of merchant fraud, and how prevention is no longer just about security; streamlined prevention is crucial for a frictionless customer experience.

 

 


Revolutionising trading

The boom in cryptocurrencies is changing the face of the financial sector as we
know it, and Rainbird is being deployed in the engine room of that change.
In one of our most innovative projects to date, we provided the backbone
for a world-first in the finance industry: an AI-brokered trade via a virtual assistant.

 

 

 


Self-service legal advice

By automating the process of reviewing legislation and identifying customer needs,
Rainbird is a tool that can allow lawyers to focus on doing what they do best: using
their nous and know-how to offer a great service to their clients. Follow the link to
read about our work in legal tech with Taylor Wessing, or check out coverage of our
appearance as sponsor of this year’s London Law Expo – Europe’s largest legal conference.

 

 

 


Empowering better healthcare

Providing high-quality, customised healthcare to patients is sadly not always a possibility. The demand for specialists far outweighs the supply, and the cost of their service outweighs most patients’ budgets. In the case of our work with community healthcare service client Fluid Motion, there simply weren’t enough quality physiotherapists and osteopaths to go around for musculoskeletal condition sufferers. But by encoding the expertise of health specialists in a Rainbird knowledge map and making it available at scale, patients can have wider access to tailored treatment plans.

 

 


Explainability

Regardless of the use case for Rainbird – whether automating care plans, assessing insurance claims, or making legal recommendations – the decisions it makes are always explainable via an in-built audit trail, making it an ideal choice for regulated industries. In today’s compliance-driven world, you cannot automate important decision-making without being able to articulate why a judgement was made.

Collaborate with thought leaders

Rainbird is home to forward thinkers – and we invite others to join us in the activity. As a client, you’ll be in the capable hands of a rapidly growing business with the sagacity to navigate a rapidly changing marketplace. As a partner, you’ll be pushing the boundaries of business technology with some of the UK’s most preeminent thinkers and actors.

Take our co-founders as an example:


Aside from acting as the driving force behind Rainbird’s unique automated decision-making platform, our CEO Ben Taylor (left, in parliament) contributes to AI policy debate in the UK government, taking a seat on the All Party Parliamentary Group for AI (APPGI).

Ben is one of the leading proponents of ethical, explainable AI technology, and encourages values that inspire public trust in new technology.

 

Executive Chairman James Duez (below) is a trailblazing entrepreneur whose selection by Grant Thornton as one of their Faces of a Vibrant Economy is fresh off the presses.

And as recent selectees on the London Stock Exchange Group’s prestigious ELITE ecosystem, you can be sure you’ll be in the company of the UK’s best in AI and automation.

But most importantly of all, we’re interested in you.

What are the areas your business can improve in? Our implementation team can help you pinpoint pain points and build targeted solutions.

Where do the strengths in your business lie? By modelling your most valuable expertise in a Rainbird knowledge map, together we can capture and scale them.

 

 

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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Rainbird in Healthcare

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Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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Rainbird joins London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) ELITE programme

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Through the ELITE ecosystem Rainbird gains access to specialist business education from Imperial College London and tailored advice across a range of areas, including strategic planning, talent, governance and preparation for investment.

There will also be opportunities to collaborate and share ideas with exciting private growth companies, entrepreneurs, business leaders, corporate advisory and investor communities.

Having turned five in 2018 the company has already demonstrated significant growth and increased customer value. With access to the advisory support and leading capital markets network, ELITE will further enable Rainbird persevere through challenges and opportunities of a growing business.

“Rainbird is honoured to be part of the London Stock Exchange ELITE program,” said James Duez, executive chairman at Rainbird. “The company has been focused on scaling up customer value with an enhanced Leadership team that brings together various business insights. This programme is an excellent opportunity to further continue our growth at an accelerated pace.”

Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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AI Congress 2018

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Become a truly intelligent automation and decision-making organisation
Find out how Rainbird can ensure every decision in your organisation benefits from the required expertise.

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