News Release 

Artificial intelligence technology may improve care for patients needing dialysis

American Society of Nephrology

Washington, DC (November 7, 2019) -- Machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, may help improve care for patients with kidney failure. The findings come from a study that will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2019 November 5-November 10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.

For the study, Ollie Fielding (pulseData, in New York) and his colleagues deployed a machine learning model to identify patients at risk of requiring kidney replacement therapy, such as dialysis or kidney transplantation. An electronic health record database of 110,998 patients was used to create a machine learning model to predict progression to kidney failure. The system calculates weekly risk scores for patients, and for those with high risk scores, an alert is sent so that treatment discussions can be made by a multidisciplinary team of clinicians.

Since deployment of the machine learning model, 54% of patients started dialysis under optimal conditions. This is almost 3-times the national average of 20% and 14% better than the 47.3% rate prior to use of the machine learning model.

"Using artificial intelligence can help you focus care efforts on the right patients at the right time, but human effort and clinical care delivery experts are required to truly improve outcomes for patients. Predictive analytics applied on a large scale can augment a highly focused care team," said Fielding. "There is huge potential to change the healthcare dynamic by providing care before bad events rather than after. The possibility to shape the delivery of kidney care is tremendously exciting."

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Study: "Use of Machine Learning to Inform Decision Making and Optimal Renal Replacement Therapy"

ASN Kidney Week 2019, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for more than 13,000 professionals to discuss the latest findings in kidney health research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney and related disorders. Kidney Week 2019 will take place November 5 - November 10 in Washington, DC.

Since 1966, ASN has been leading the fight to prevent, treat, and cure kidney diseases throughout the world by educating health professionals and scientists, advancing research and innovation, communicating new knowledge, and advocating for the highest quality care for patients. ASN has more than 20,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, please visit http://www.asn-online.org or contact the society at 202-640-4660.

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