Guardian angel’ web-app for nurses wins award.

Nik Haliasos, consultant neurosurgeon and Alan Turing visiting researcher at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, was among one of two teams to win the first ever Florence Nightingale Award for Excellence in Healthcare Data Analytics. 

Nik and a number of colleagues created a personalised medicine triage app for emergency departments using artificial intelligence technologies. 

The web-app acts as a ‘guardian angel’ to assist nurses when triaging patients during those first crucial moments of their arrival in an emergency department (ED). 

Nik said: “This award is the culmination of three years of work and collaboration between many people. It has proven to me that there is an endless drive within our staff to deliver innovation and state of the art technologies for the NHS, to help improve patient care.”

The award, named after the celebrated nurse and statistician born 200 years ago this year, celebrates data analyst teams in the health and care sector whose work demonstrably delivers better outcomes for patients. It’s presented by the Royal Statistical Society and supported by the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.   

“Now, more than ever, data analysts play a crucial role in understanding health data for the benefit of patients, health services and national policymaking”, said RSS President, Professor Deborah Ashby. “Florence Nightingale was the Society’s first female member, so it seems fitting to honour her contribution to statistics with this award. I would like to congratulate the winners and those commended for their amazing work, which is doing so much to improve health outcomes for everyone.” 

Adam Steventon, director of data analytics at the Health Foundation, said: “It’s fantastic to see these concrete examples of how patient data can be used to make a tangible difference to people’s care. By paying careful attention to health inequalities and sharing their code, the winners are helping to improve health care for everyone and providing a model for others to follow. The NHS and its patients need more projects like these to help tackle the challenging times we are facing and into the future. Analysts are working tirelessly to respond to the pandemic, but the teams working in health and social care are often missing the data, tools and resources they need.”

Nik added, “I think it’s important to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this project, including Darryl Wood on behalf of ED consultants, Amber Gibney and the Data Analytics team led by Rob Nimmo, The Alan Turing Health programme, research and information, and IT colleagues – all of whom went above and beyond to make this happen.”

Further information including details of the award and the other joint winner, NHS Blood and Transplant, which created a patient-specific kidney transplant allocation scheme for deceased donor kidneys in the UK, can be found on the Royal Statistical Society website.

A Q&A with Nik Haliasos about data analytics in healthcare can also be read online.

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