Frontiers in Digital Health – From compute to care: Lessons learned from deploying an early warning system into clinical practice
Deploying safe and effective machine learning models is essential to realize the promise of artificial intelligence for improved healthcare. Yet, there remains a large gap between the number of high-performing ML models trained on healthcare data and the actual deployment of these models. Here, we describe the deployment of CHARTwatch, an artificial intelligence-based early warning system designed to predict patient risk of clinical deterioration.
We describe the end-to-end infrastructure that was developed to deploy CHARTwatch and outline the process from data extraction to communicating patient risk scores in real-time to physicians and nurses. We then describe the various challenges that were faced in deployment, including technical issues (e.g., unstable database connections), process-related challenges (e.g., changes in how a critical lab is measured), and challenges related to deploying a clinical system in the middle of a pandemic. We report various measures to quantify the success of the deployment: model performance, adherence to workflows, and infrastructure uptime/downtime. Ultimately, success is driven by end-user adoption and impact on relevant clinical outcomes. We assess our deployment process by evaluating how closely we followed existing guidance for good machine learning practice (GMLP) and identify gaps that are not addressed in this guidance.