A new NHS pilot scheme in Buckinghamshire is using artificial intelligence (AI) to track people’s kettles and fridges in a bid to reduce the number of individuals being admitted to hospital.

The project is hoping to prevent “avoidable” hospital admissions this winter by monitoring people’s drinking and eating patterns and then signposting those with bad habits to the relevant care teams.

Carers can then support the signposted individuals by helping them with their shopping, cleaning and the delivery of food parcels.

Another trial in Somerset is testing a new AI system that detects people at risk of hospital admission, with complex needs or those who rarely contact the surgery.

The selected individuals are then offered preventative care, including introducing support to prevent people falling over, linking them up with local voluntary groups to help avoid loneliness and escalating treatments to specialist doctors.

Health officials in Birmingham are trialling a predictive algorithm to combat thousands of hospital or GP visits by providing those most at risk with access to social care measures.

According to health workers, the trial is hoping to prevent 17,000 overnight hospital stays and 23,000 GP appointments, as well as 4,500 unnecessary trips to A&E.

More than 90% of NHS leaders who took part in a survey admitted that they are concerned about how the health service will get through winter.

In addition, the survey shows that 80% of the respondents think this year will be tougher to survive than the last.

More than seven million people are currently on an NHS waiting list – the highest since records began 16 years ago.

Amanda Pritchard, Chief Executive of NHS England, said: “The NHS was equipped with a suite of tech and data solutions ahead of winter which is likely to be incredibly challenging.

“NHS staff across the country are already feeling the pressure with record demand for A&E and ambulance services – and so these new innovations being rolled out by NHS teams are an extra and welcome addition to our winter toolkit, with more call handlers and more beds already in place.”

The NHS received a £200 million funding boost from the Government in September in an attempt to treat patients quickly as possible during the winter.

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