Apr 10, 2020|

JD’s AI-Based Prescription Review System Recognized by Government


by Hui Zhang

An advanced AI-based prescription review and analysis system co-developed by JD Health and a partner hospital has been recognized by Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission as one of the ‘AI + Health Collaborative Innovation Cultivation’ projects for 2020. The project will receive financial support from local government.

The AI-integrated system called PharmCOO (“Pharma chief operating officer”) optimizes the clinical prescription process and improves patient safety. It is expected to help the government control the cost of health insurance, and improve the efficiency and accuracy of  prescription from both medical institutions and pharmacies.

The core of the prescription review system is what is known as a knowledge graph based on Peking University Third Hospital’s vast database of pharmaceutical information. In the past, pharmacists in China were merely seen as “dispensers” of medication, rather than a source of medical knowledge and guidance. With new requirements for pharmacists to carefully review all prescriptions that doctors prescribe to ensure that there are no contradictions between medications, dosage is correct, and the patient understands how to use each drug, pharmacists are being forced to play ‘catch up’. According to the World Health Organization, over half of all medicines prescribed are either dispensed or sold improperly.

The advantage of the knowledge graph-based system is that it acts as a highly attuned and comprehensive expert for pharmacists. Using JD’s advanced natural language processing and deep learning technology, PharmCOO can provide doctors timely reminders on any contraindications, and consultation and guidance on use of various drugs, dosage. It can draw subtle, intelligent connections between a patient’s condition allergies to medication, and more. Rather than a static database, the knowledge graph-based system is unique in that it constantly learns from the experience of medical professionals, enabling it to improve accuracy, and taking the burden off pharmacists to memorize troves of medical data so that they can prioritize learning the most pertinent information.

JD Health is also introducing the system to Beihai City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Hebi City, Henan province, to build up a regional prescription review and circulation platform. The platform is expected to connect information systems of various hospitals in the region. Doctors’ prescriptions will be reviewed by the platform, and approved prescriptions can be circulated to offline pharmacies to make it easy for patients to get medicine and promote the separation of dispensing from prescribing in response to government’s call for health insurance cost-control.