NEWS

Dutch intensive care units collaborate on ‘world first’ data-sharing project

06 January 2022

New data-sharing collaborations will use AI to help treat severely ill patients. Intensive care providers in the Netherlands have launched a new collaboration to improve the treatment of critically ill patients. The collaboration is an initiative of Diederik Gommers of the NVIC (Dutch Association for Intensive Care) and is led by Dr Paul Elbers, an intensivist at Amsterdam UMC and founder of Amsterdam Medical Data Science.

The project is portrayed as the first of its kind, globally. Diederik Gommers said: “During the corona crisis, many intensive care workers shared data on the treatment of corona patients. As a result, we now know much more precisely how to ventilate and which medicines work.”

As part of the icudata.nl programme, participants will share data, using artificial intelligence to help determine the best treatment for severely ill patients. The data will mainly come from intensive care equipment such as surveillance monitors and respirators. By combining treatment data and artificial intelligence, algorithms can help refine which treatment works best for which patient. So far, 63 intensive care units in the Netherlands have joined the collaboration.

Dutch health insurance companies are supporting the project by investing more than two million euros for the first five years. Hospitals remain responsible for the data, which the insurers will not have access to. Organisers say that every measure is being taken to ensure that the sharing of the data is done strictly in accordance with privacy legislation and security standards.

Why Amsterdam is leading the way in medical data
As a hub for both AI and the life sciences, Amsterdam is already working hard to implement AI in everyday healthcare. The Dutch capital is home to more than 600 researchers focused on this cutting-edge field, as well as companies like Pacmed, Aidence and Braincreators. Many of the industry’s leading businesses also focus on fields such as AI, paving the way for a future where robots perform complicated procedures and other important tasks. The city is also focusing on improving the life expectancy of its residents through AI.