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The work reveals that the data from routine electronic medical records constitute an opportunity to develop and implement tools to support the professional in clinical decision using Artificial Intelligence techniques. At least 46% of people who take their own lives contact primary health care beforehand, according to a study by Parc Taulí published in the journal Archives of Suicide Research. The research has analyzed more than 2.100 cases and of the nearly a thousand people who called for help, 33% died over the next week and 58,5% within a month.
A study carried out by the Parc Taulí Hospital and published in the scientific journal Archives of Suicide Research shows that at least 46% of suicides that occur in the province of Barcelona could be avoided if more efficient detection and management could be done. of high-risk cases. Locating and assisting these people could be possible based on data from routine electronic medical records and through the use of Artificial Intelligence techniques.
The research, led by Dr. Marc Fradera, coordinator of clinical trials at the Hospital Parc Taulí, and has had the collaboration of Drs. Diego Palao and Narcís Cardoner, as well as Drs. Caridad Pontes (CatSalut) and Víctor Pérez (Hospital del Mar) and the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences of Catalonia (IMLCFC), the University Institute for Research in Primary Care (IDIAP Jordi Gol) and the Research Center Biomedica en Red Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), has analyzed a total of 2.109 people who died by suicide in the province of Barcelona during the period 2010-2015, of which at least 971 had had previous primary care interactions. Of these, 33% died during the following week and 58,5% did so within a month. In terms of gender and age, 74% were men, although general data indicate that more attempts occur among women and about 34% were over 65 years of age.
Risk factors associated with an increased risk of suicide death are as diverse as self-harm, previous attempts, diagnosed psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, family history, other pathologies, recent hospital admission, chronic pain, job loss or economic, among others. The study by the Parc Taulí Hospital confirms this trend and reveals that many of the people who took their own lives in Barcelona had made frequent use of primary care health services, had been referred to health specialists. mentally or had been on sick leave during the previous year.
In this environment, Dr. Marc Fradera states that “our observations confirm that suicidal patients often come into contact with the primary care health system, but are not detected as a high risk of suicide or are not effectively managed for prevention. Therefore, having electronic medical records with data on many risk factors is an opportunity for clinical intervention with the right tools. In this sense, the clinical history of each patient contains information that can allow the production of support systems to help health professionals identify and monitor possible cases using Artificial Intelligence from specific diagnostic mechanisms in subjects. with several high-risk factors.
Dr. Fradera explains that “in Catalonia, each patient has a unique public health code, with which information can be retrieved on relevant risk factors, such as data on previous hospitalization and mental health care interactions, others". Parc Taulí Hospital has a suicide prevention program and is already working on a pilot project to implement Artificial Intelligence in this area.
A suicide in the world every 40 seconds
Suicide is a global problem that does not understand countries, genders, ages, social or economic conditions. According to data from the World Health Organization, one occurs in the world every 40 seconds and for every suicide, there are 20 attempts to carry it out. Thus, it is estimated that there are 800.000 deaths a year from this cause on the planet, which has an incidence of 10 per 5 habitats. In addition, it is the second reason why more deaths occur among young people aged 100.000 to 15.
For this reason, Dr. Fradera believes that "preventive strategies are needed and the detection of high-risk subjects is one of the key elements to implement them."
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