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Long-term illness may be one of the biggest challenges facing the world. It’s widely cited to account for 70% of the total health and social care spending in the UK. As society is ageing rapidly, the cost of inpatient care is projected to double over the next 15 years.

Pharmatics is developing artificial intelligence (AI) for shifting care for long-term conditions away from the hospital and towards self-management. This may help to reduce the costs of health and social care, and empower individuals to take control of their lives. Our current focus is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which kills more individuals than the second deadliest cancer and is the only major cause of morbidity and mortality that is on the rise globally.


Our project will develop and test a minimal viable version of a mobile application that may help individuals with COPD to reduce the risks of exacerbations. The app will be powered by an ensemble of machine learning models, combining our pre-trained models using patient-generated variables with a relevant model constructed in a large healthcare dataset. In our development, we will apply an innovative approach that does not need to access personal data, which may facilitate data sharing.

Our project will address only one of many aspects of COPD self-management. However, it will be the cornerstone of a significantly larger programme aimed at personalising self-management of chronic lung conditions using artificial intelligence. Our network of partners includes specialists in telehealth and respiratory health, physiotherapy, medical ethics, medical devices, software, and data-efficient medical AI and machine learning from Pharmatics, and partners, including the University of Edinburgh, two Scottish health boards, and a Scottish patient support group.

Why Healthier Lives Data Fund?

We are pleased to be among the winners of the Healthier Lives Data Fund competition. We hope that by being a part of this fund by Nesta and the Scottish Government, we will make a step towards developing the world's finest AI-powered self-management platform that will help to empower citizens, make healthcare sustainable, and unlock some aspects of data access for other developers and innovators in data-driven digital health.

By Dr Felix Agakov, Founder