Expanding a new digital healthcare solution across chronic heart disease management

More than 100,000 patients with heart failure in China are using our new AI-enabled platform, AI Nurse, to manage their condition and aim for better health.

Oct 08, 2021

Co-developed with China’s internet multinational Tencent, together with leading Chinese medical organizations, the digital healthcare solution is now broadening its scope to cardiovascular disease in general – supporting patients from pre-diagnosis to hospital discharge and ongoing at-home disease management.

By embedding AI Nurse in WeChat, Tencent’s social media platform, it helps patients with heart failure to easily accommodate disease management into everyday living, alerting them to signs of disease worsening. Patients can then take early action to avoid rehospitalization, in a country where heart disease is on the rise.

AI Nurse infographic

These signs of disease worsening might otherwise have been missed in the community once the patient is discharged from hospital and trying to live a normal life. So, AI Nurse has been able to pre-empt further deterioration. Without monitoring, 50% of heart failure patients in China die within five years, because by the time they are readmitted to hospital, the disease will have significantly worsened.

Spring Liu, Head of Business Model Transformation and Digital, Novartis Pharmaceuticals China

The Novartis partnership with Tencent is a bold move to maximize the potential of digital transformation in engaging with patients and healthcare professionals to better manage chronic diseases – tackling a vast healthcare challenge in the world’s most populated country.

Since launch in April 2020, AI Nurse – which is treatment agnostic – has identified 160,000 instances of disease worsening. Post-hospital treatment compliance is typically poor, but AI Nurse also reminds patients to take their medication, and there’s a chatbot to support lifestyle guidance.

Christian Hein, Global Head of Digital Transformation & Innovation Execution, said:

AI Nurse is truly exciting and a great example of how data and digital can help to transform the patient journey, improving healthcare delivery and health outcomes.

Christian Hein, Global Head of Digital Transformation & Innovation Execution

Evolving development

Patient and healthcare professional feedback has been key to the ongoing evolution of AI Nurse. Since launch, more than 80 different product enhancements have been made, building on user requests and comments.

As AI Nurse expands, it will be used in hospital waiting rooms  to make waiting time productive by capturing crucial patient information. This will better inform doctors prior to face-to-face meetings with patients, speeding up diagnosis and informing treatment decisions.

Through follow-up calls with patients, we know how useful they’re finding AI Nurse to help them monitor their health at home and understand what to watch out for, in terms of disease worsening,” said Xiao. “Heart failure is a silent worsening disease, but with AI Nurse, patients have peace of mind that they’re able to take more responsibility for their ongoing health and wellbeing.

Xiao Fu, Head of Digital Transformation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals China

Scaling up AI Nurse is in line with Novartis’ focus to go big on data and digital, to improve access to healthcare and boost patient outcomes.