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Arkansas hospital using artificial intelligence to help patients during labor

Northwest Health announced that it is now using an artificial intelligence-based system to aid in patient safety during labor and delivery.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Northwest Health announced in a press release Tuesday, July 19, that it is now using PeriWatch Vigilance, a system based on artificial intelligence, to help monitor patients during the labor and delivery process. 

The introduction of the new safety measure comes after a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that listed Arkansas as number one in maternal deaths in the United States, doubling the national average. 

According to the press release, Northwest Health delivers more than 3,000 babies each year. Director of Women's Services at Siloam Springs Regional Hospital Megan Bokina mentions that this new technology is an important resource to help ensure safer births in Arkansas. 

“The PeriWatch system has increased patient safety by giving us an extra set of eyes,” says Bokina. “While most births happen without complications, there are some inherent risks in the delivery of a newborn. For example, this new technology alerts us sooner to subtle changes in vitals such as blood pressure and allows us to intervene quickly.”

The system continuously monitors maternal vitals, fetal heart rate, contractions and labor progression. This helps clinicians quickly identify any concerning developments for faster intervention, according to the release. 

The new technology also uses pattern recognition that can pinpoint opportunities for overall improvement based on data from multiple births. This consolidation allows the hospital to develop various protocols that can further increase safety and possibly lead to better outcomes for mothers and babies.

“By investing in this technology, Northwest Health is making labor and delivery safety for mothers and babies here in Northwest Arkansas a priority,” said Chris York, the hospital's market chief executive officer. “Our physicians and nurses are highly-skilled medical professionals and excellent caregivers and they appreciate the use of technology to support their work, especially when it helps keep our moms and babies safe.”

To learn more about Northwest health and PeriWatch Vigilance, click here.  

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