Artificial Intelligence Assists Occupational- and Physiotherapists

How artificial intelligence (AI) disburdens our health workers and increases the quality of treatment for patients.

Mark Kröll & Julia Egerer

Medical data are recorded or generated every time one visits a doctor or stays in a hospital. Personal health data are playing an increasingly important role and are subject to strict data protection guidelines in Europe. Protection of our data is as important, and so is the best possible healthcare. In order to be able to process the health data in compliance with the GDPR and to analyze them as extensively as possible, intelligent technologies are required.

Disburdening Health Workers

Within the FFG project Smaragd, researchers are investigating the requirements and possibilities of AI in the field of occupational therapy and physiotherapy. With the help of artificial intelligence, the aim is to disburden therapists by aggregating and visualizing health data from therapy findings. Everything in compliance with the GDPR.

Semantic Processing of Data From Therapy Findings

Research teams at Know-Center use latest AI methods from areas of Clinical Natural Language Processing and Semantic Data Analysis to assist occupational and physiotherapists with their daily work processes. These methods are used to automatically process large amounts of data and to prepare them for further analyses in a structured manner.

“AI enables therapists to obtain a quick overview of the patient’s state of health and supports them to make complex decisions quickly and reliably by taking previous therapies into account. This will improve the quality of working conditions by minimizing time pressure and by allowing to focus on the quality of treatment”, explains Dr. Mark Kröll, Senior Researcher from the Knowledge Discovery Area at Know-Center the benefits of the approach.

First, health data are collected, analyzed and processed in compliance with the data protection regulations. The research teams concentrate on merging and harmonizing the data sources and checking the quality of the data. The resulting data sets are processed semantically, which means that individual words or passages of a report are given meaning, e.g., “medication” or “diagnosis.” Subsequently, relevant information, including relations such as (“medication”, “dosage”) or (“injury”, “body part”) can be extracted and aggregated. By aggregating relevant health data, it is possible to clearly display the course of the disease to date and to assist therapists with their daily treatment practices.

The AI ​​methods used enable therapists to:

  • obtain a quick overview of the patient’s state of health
  • make complex diagnosis and therapy decisions quickly and reliably and taking previous therapies into account
  • improve the quality of working conditions by minimizing time pressure and allowing to focus on the quality of treatment

This enables occupational and physiotherapists to treat illnesses more comprehensively and efficiently. Human health is paramount. Know-Center is a project partner in Smaragd and one of the leading European research centers for data-driven business and artificial intelligence.

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