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Monday, 1 November / 2021
#NTT Disruption

Toward Human-Friendly Digital Health and Wellbeing: two game-changing approaches

Marc Alba, Senior Vice President NTT, President and CEO NTT Disruption.

Human-friendly health and wellbeing (HWB) starts by putting the person at the center, both on the demand side (patients) and supply side (personnel). In their lifelong wellbeing journey, individuals are looking for new ways to learn about and take responsibility for their HWB and demand supporting ecosystems that see them as the real and unique center of the system. While patients need to be the center of gravity from the demand side, the HWB ecosystem personnel must become its center of gravity from the supply side.

Beyond human by design approaches, HWB systems need to adopt human-centric paradigms that ensure and transmit empathy, ethics, resilience, respect, and transparency at every touchpoint. The HWB leaders need to embrace the opportunities of digital disruption looking at the world through the eyes of human beings, from patients to hospital personnel. New digital disruptive technologies can play an important role in this human-friendly journey to live longer, better and happier.

At NTT, we are actively working in creating the foundations for disruptive technologies to facilitate the transition towards more human-friendly HWB. Next, we share the promising and game-changing journeys we are undertaking: first, the creation of new general of digital companions that can support both patients and caregivers enabling relational HWB; second, the development of real-time non-invasive ICU monitoring support to both enhance patients’ safety and improve nurses’ conditions

jibo. Human-friendly digital companions: from transactional to relational health and wellbeing

Relational artificial intelligence (AI) refers to intelligent machines that build digital relationships with humans. This disruptive trend facilitates a shift away from transactional AI (smart speakers and virtual assistants) to social cognitive agents that nurture empathetic and trustworthy relationships with users. Applied to health and wellbeing, relational AI enables creating digital companions that could act alternatively as health concierges, wellbeing coaches or anti-loneliness agents, and all in all as lifelong wellbeing companions.

In 2019, NTT acquired jibo, launched in 2017 as the first social robot for the home and featured at TIME Magazine cover as best innovation of that year, and is transforming it into a HWB lifelong digital companion. Social robots are designed to interact and communicate with humans according to the rules of their role that are defined by the society and the context. They are proving themselves very effective to help seniors, children, and chronic patients. Studies carried out by the MIT and the US National Academy of Engineering reveal how artificial intelligence and social elements applied to social robotics improve the behaviors, habits and emotional well-being of those individuals that require monitoring and reinforcement of habits like treatment adherence or specific lifestyle.

jibo’s first on-field experiences in the HWB space are proving to leading to hugely promising results. Closed-loop remote patient monitoring enabled through the casual interactions with jibo allows for the continuous monitoring of a patient’s condition through constant data feedback. Remote jibo-based monitoring means patients can receive care outside of a hospital setting, in their own space, which could vastly improve comfort levels and mental wellbeing during treatment. Enhancing jibo with new technologies enabling data-friendly management, digital trust and emotion-based behavioral science are further enabling empathic and affective human experiences across HWB systems.

VPO. Real-time non-invasive ICU monitoring support: enhancing patients’ safety while improving nurses’ conditions

The work of healthcare professionals at Intensive Care Units (ICUs) is vital, and now even more in the age of the pandemic. They are responsible for taking care of patients who are critically ill or are recovering from conditions that may be life-threatening. Unwanted patients’ actions -e.g., patient extubating, removing IV lines, leaving the bed unattended, or even falling- can result in high-impact undesirable outcomes. In hospitals, the need to monitor ICU patients 24/7 has been, to the moment, mostly covered increasing the use of invasive devices and reinforcing personnel. More invasive is the opposite of what patients in critical conditions, especially older adults, need; and the shortage in healthcare personnel has become a huge growing challenge for health systems.

Leveraging state-of-art technologies in artificial intelligence, real-time analytics, new generations of semiconductors and computer vision, we at NTT have launched the creation of VPO (Virtual Patient Observation) a solution to reinvent the ICU/hospital experience enabling zero-latency intelligent non-invasive ICU monitoring support, which take into consideration both patients’ and nurses’ needs. Through conventional cameras, machine learning and real-time video analytics, supported by accelerated computing power, detect patients’ behaviors or early-stage movements to predict potentially dangerous situations, triggering zero-latency alerts to the healthcare professionals. Avoiding more intrusive sensors and focusing personnel on what they are really needed for, the results of our field work are proving to be extremely relevant to support ICU professionals in making patient care safer and more efficient, providing with additional safety in patient observation, and enabling nurses to ensure timely response even if they do not have direct visual of the patient.

The leaders in health and wellbeing need to embrace the opportunities of digital disruption looking at the world through the eyes of human beings, from patients to hospital personnel

Marc Alba, Senior Vice President NTT, President and CEO NTT Disruption.

Thanks NTT Innovation Laboratory Israel and The Marker:

About Marc Alba

With more than 25 years of professional experience in disruption, innovation and IT, Marc Alba is a fully business oriented professional experienced in creating and boosting business opportunities. His deep expertise in both supporting IT and governing processes along with his holistic approach makes him competent in spotting the real needs and problems of firms and departments. He is also keen on innovating both radically (creating new solutions) and incrementally (improving existing solutions). Marc Alba has been involved in launching and managing several multidisciplinary international R&D and innovation projects, as well as mission-critical scenarios. He is author of several management books, including two on innovation management and intrapreneurship: “Stories of E-Searching for new business excellence” and “i-entrepreneurs”.

About NTT Disruption

In 2019 NTT Inc. launched NTT Disruption, a new company dedicated principally to the creation and delivery of human-centric business solutions, leveraging on the latest exponential technologies. The company already works on new solutions including jibo, a social robot to improve patients and health professionals lives in healthcare; VPO, real-time 24/7 video analytics for patient monitoring; Growthland, the in-house agency to disrupt marketing for sustainable growth; and Cokoon, the platform to enable the world of immersive spaces. We disrupt for good, to impact everyone everywhere. Visit us at disruption.global.ntt.

toward-human-friendly-digital-health-and-wellbeing-two-game-changing-approaches
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