Digitalization Minister Linda Hofstad Helleland supports an innovation project that aims to prevent self-harm in psychiatry with the help of artificial intelligence. She believes this can contribute to the government's goal of vision zero for suicides.
“Technology is a good tool for providing better services to the population. Often you have to be innovative to provide good solutions. Therefore, I think this project can help us achieve the goal of vision zero”, says Minister of District and Digitalization, Linda Hofstad Helleland.
The minister recently visited Grimstad to learn more about the project ‘StaySafe’. This is a collaboration between the University of Agder, the Hospital of Southern Norway and Egde Consulting. During the visit, Helleland received a demonstration of how the solutions are tested at the innovation arena i4Health .
The technology used in the project monitors the patient’s breathing, pulse and movement. The objective is to be able to predict self-harm or suicide attempts in patients admitted to a psychiatric unit at the hospital.
Project Manager Niklas Dimitri Halseide emphasises that patient consent is required to be able to do this.
“When a patient is suicidal, healthcare professionals will enter the patient room every ten minutes to check that everything is OK, which is disturbing to the patient. With sensor technology, you can monitor and predict what the patient will do, without disturbing them. Health personnel will come to the rescue before the patient potentially harms themselves because the numbers on the screen will indicate abnormal activity”, says Project Manager Niklas Dimitri Halseide.
Linda Hofstad Helleland emphasises that such innovation can make the everyday work of health professionals more efficient.
“Digitalization means that there is more time for a nurse to provide safety and care, a chat or a hand to hold. Rather than the nurse having to check the pulse and temperature or enter the room several times a day, machines can take care of this, freeing the nurse to engage with the human being”, the Minister of Digitalization says.
Helleland got to test how the sensor technology works at the i4Health Home Simulator, a test lab built as an apartment. The minister was monitored from a control room checking her breathing and pulse to simulate how patients are being monitored.
“It is impressive how Southern Norway has managed to build such an arena for innovation”, says Helleland.
The idea is to install these sensors in the new psychiatric facilities that are being built at Eg in Kristiansand.
In order to get the project up and running, researchers at UiA have to get the sensors to capture the patient's changed behaviour. This is done in collaboration with professionals at the Hospital of Southern Norway. The collaboration project is still in the initiation phase, but when it is all completed in 2024, the technology company Egde Consulting will create the software tol be installed at the hospital.
“If we are to develop this system, it must be secure enough to allow us to react before something happens. If we can predict behaviour change, we can save lives”, says Niklas Dimitri Halseide, project manager at the section for eHealth at the Hospital of Southern Norway.
Everyone involved in the visit: