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October A pioneering AI research project aims to revolutionise treatment for high blood pressure
A pioneering AI research project aims to revolutionise treatment for high blood pressure
Tuesday, 3 October 2023
Dr Conor Judge, a senior lecturer of applied clinical data analytics with University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Consultant Nephrologist at Saolta University Health Care Group. Credit – Martina Regan.
University of Galway led research project funded by the Health Research Board
A University of Galway researcher has secured funding from the Health Research Board (HRB) to advance blood pressure treatment using artificial intelligence.
The project led by Dr Conor Judge - An Artificial Intelligence approach to improving blood pressure treatment - is set to revolutionise the management and treatment of hypertension, a critical health issue affecting more than 1.4 billion people around the world.
The funding of €700,000 has been awarded under the HRB’s Clinician Scientist Fellowships (CSF) 2023 scheme.
The research project will run for four years and aims to address the significant care-gap in hypertension management, which currently requires people with the condition to visit their doctor frequently, thus posing a challenge to both the person with hypertension and the healthcare providers, by exploring the potential of artificial intelligence in enhancing treatment decisions.
Initially, the project will analyse two extensive clinical trials on blood pressure treatment to train a computer program to make treatment decisions similar to clinical hypertension experts. Following this, safety features will be integrated into the AI program to ensure reliable recommendations, especially in unfamiliar medical scenarios. The project will carry out comprehensive surveys with both clinicians and people being treated for high blood pressure to gauge their perceptions of AI-driven treatment. The final step involves a thorough evaluation of the AI program's efficacy in recommending blood pressure treatments in a real world setting.
Dr Conor Judge, a senior lecturer of applied clinical data analytics with University of Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, and Consultant Nephrologist at Saolta University Health Care Group said: “Doctor capacity is a crucial factor that limits how well we can control high blood pressure, leading to a significant gap in managing this condition worldwide.”
“The overarching goal is to personalise hypertension management, thereby bridging the existing care-gap and significantly reducing the global burden of hypertension-related complications. The project's findings could potentially set a precedent for employing AI in managing other critical health conditions, marking a significant stride towards integrating AI in routine clinical practice.”
The research will be supervised by Professor Martin O'Donnell, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Professor of Neurovascular Medicine at University of Galway, and Consultant Geriatrician at Saolta University Health Care Group.
Professor O’Donnell said: “Artificial Intelligence Clinical Decision Support Systems (AICDSS) for Hypertension holds considerable potential to improving hypertension management but require rigorous evaluation before assimilation into routine clinical practice.
“This scheme is designed to fund health and social care practitioners who have completed their PhD and are engaged in clinical care delivery. The primary aim is to nurture these professionals into independent clinician researchers with a profound ambition to influence policy and practice through their research endeavours.”
Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
27 November 2023
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