Using AI to identify at risk emergency service and armed forces personnel

Posted on: 18/09/2019

The AI in Health SIG is interested in running activities that will help in scoping challenge areas and identify spaces where AI companies can innovate

With the UK government announcing an investment of £250 million in artificial intelligence in the healthcare system, AI is being hailed as the next revolution in industry. AI is already being used in various capacities from cancer screenings to appointment reminders. There is now a need to further its use to help with easing a heavily burdened healthcare system.


As the organisation that works to drive innovation and stimulate commercial growth, KTN’s Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Special Interest Group (AI in Health SIG) has identified that AI holds potential benefits for armed forces and emergency service personnel. Mental ill health does not always manifest in a physical way and those affected may struggle to articulate their symptoms. There is a huge potential in this space for AI to be used as an early warning system and support mental wellbeing.


Statistics show military personnel are prone to mental health problems. Research shows that early service leavers and reservists have been found to have a higher risk of developing mental health issues than their peers. The most common mental health problems for ex-Service personnel are alcohol problems, depression and anxiety disorder which sometimes leads to violence both inside and outside the family environment. A study conducted last year, showed that at least 71 serving personnel/veterans took their own lives in 2018, while 5% of prison population is made up of veterans.


The numbers are also high for emergency service personnel – 91% have experienced poor mental health at work and ‘blue light’ workers are more likely to experience mental health problems than the general workforce and are less likely to take time off work as a result.


With this focus, the AI in Health SIG is interested in running activities that will help in scoping challenge areas and identify spaces where AI and UK companies can innovate and collaborate.


In particular, the organisations we would like to hear from will identify with the following:

1.     You hold/own data sources where the application of AI could be applied to support wellbeing in the workplace

2.     Emergency service/blue light services or military stakeholders interested in the application of AI to support staff mental wellbeing

3.     You are an organisation working with blue light or military personnel interested in activities working with AI innovators

4.     Where AI could be used in the detection, treatment and rehabilitation of mental health conditions

5.     Interest in activities which could bring together mental health specialists, data owners and AI innovators


The aim of these activities will be to identify how AI can make a difference to military and blue light personnel – through diagnoses, assessments, managing stress etc. We would like to see the following outcomes from undertaking this work:

  • What are the datasets currently used (or missing information) that would be useful for military/blue light services?
  • What gets ‚Äòlost‚Äô in the system but that would be helpful?
  • Where do military/blue light service personnel interact with the digital world?
  • Where is the data trail?


If you have an interest or a need for an AI solution, please contact Hazel Biggs for further information

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