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Partnership established with Sørlandet Hospital Trust

In early 2016, physician dr. med. Tor Oddbjørn Tveit and researcher Geir Thore Berge from Sørlandet Hospital Trust together with professor Ole-Christoffer Granmo at the University of Agder decided to embark on a mission to investigate the effective use of machine learning for structuring healthcare information. 

Their joint endeavours laid the foundation for today’s close partnership between Sørlandet Hospital Trust and the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research at the University of Agder.

Sørlandet Hospital Trust and the University of Agder are forerunners in developing an integrated partnership focusing on the research and development of tomorrow’s ICT-technology for supporting the treatment of today’s patients. The research is taking place both at the University of Agder university campus sites and at Sørlandet Hospital Trust. This provides for a close cooperation between clinicians and the research team, which makes the the model quite unique both nationally and internationally.

Currently, our main focus is on investigating effective applications of machine learning techniques to extract clinical information from the narrative part of the electronic health record (EHR). Our approach is novel,
in that we implement advanced machine learning algorithms in combination with rule-based algorithms for automatic structuring of patient narratives. Central to this work so far has been the development of a decision support system (CDSS) for clinical concept-based search. In the research project, we also focus on developing cost-effective methods for the training of machine learning algorithms.

Early experience and preliminary findings are promising. Working system protoypes in the pipeline suggest how machine learning techniques can be implemented to help healthcare reach higher levels of treatment quality and patient safety by effectively combining EHR-based information with millions of data points. Machine-learning techniques can help healthcare observe patterns in large amounts of data, and provide the basis for effective clinical decision support.

Sørlandet Hospital Trust and the Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research at the University of Agder aim to continue to be at the forefront of investigating how current and future advances in artifical intelligence technologies can be applied to create better healthcare for the benefit of patients.