The future of personalized mechanical ventilation

We’re harnessing the power of AI to make critical care treatment more precise and customized.

A patient is in intensive care, struggling to breathe. His lungs aren’t working. He’s put on a mechanical ventilator, which pushes air into his lungs. He could be on it for a long time – until his immune system kicks in, his illness clears, and his body starts to recover.

Mechanical ventilation can save lives. It saved so many during the worst of COVID-19. But it’s painful and uncomfortable for the patient. And it can seriously damage the airway and lungs, hurt the diaphragm, reduce the amount of blood the heart pumps out, and make oxygen toxic. These complications might end up causing longer hospital stays, disability, or even death.  

What’s more, no two patients are alike – so mechanical ventilation can’t be a one-size-fits-all treatment. Here’s the challenge: How can we make sure the patient gets the full benefit of mechanical ventilation, with none of its terrible side effects?

Thanks to St. Michael’s Dr. Laurent Brochard, one of the world’s top experts, mechanical ventilation is about to become a lot more precise and customized.

Working with St. Michael’s data scientists, his team is using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create algorithms that can analyze, minute-by-minute, what’s happening to an individual patient and make recommendations to the ICU team. The clinicians then apply their own expertise and knowledge of the patient’s history to make the adjustments needed to give the patient the best chance at recovery.

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