Figures show that by Christmas, there are currently about 10 million people waiting in line at Britain’s major hospitals for treatment. Some of the largest hospitals in England and Wales, including the University hospital of Nottingham, Guy’s Hospital in London and St Thomas’s, began using algorithms to sort appointments, sorting and releasing them by emergency level, and less necessary appointments being identified and diverted to virtual interactive services.
The software development company claims that if every hospital in the UK adopts the technology, the time it takes to deal with the backlog of cases could be reduced from four years to 10 months. “About 12 percent of patients on the waiting list don’t need to see a doctor… About half of the remaining 88 percent of patients were able to grade risk and keep them at home. “
The grading is currently in collaboration with clinicians, who review the results of the algorithm. The University Hospital of Nottingham has been trialling the technology for about a year, and clinical oncologist Dr Sven Landon commented: “We can look at the grading results of the algorithm quite quickly without having to look at the raw data.” “
However, researchers have also warned that algorithms may also exacerbate health inequalities, as some groups are not inclined to express themselves for cultural reasons that they have severe pain, while others may be used to exaggerating the condition.
But the number of waiting lists in UK hospitals continues to grow significantly as a result of the outbreak. The health system has warned that 10 million Britons may be waiting for treatment by Christmas. Of those, 470,000 have been waiting more than six weeks, up from 29,832 in February.