A globally renowned expert in artificial intelligence (AI) from the University of Huddersfield has produced innovative research to show how technology can be used to support the diagnosis of ADHD in adults.
Professor Grigoris Antoniou, the project lead from the university, said the work started after the NHS wanted to speed up diagnosis as currently treatments are available, but the process can be slow.
“There are long and growing waiting lists, as people wait to be diagnosed and treated, and this can result in adverse effects on their work, their social life and their family life,” said Professor Antoniou.
He added a reason for the lengthening waiting time due to a limited number of specialist clinicians able to do a full diagnosis.
It has been estimated that 1.5 million UK adults have ADHD, leading to a wide range of difficulties, jeopardising careers and relationships.
The diagnosis in adults has emotional symptoms that include extreme irritability, low self-esteem and a sense of insecurity, trouble staying motivated and hypersensitivity to criticism.
These issues can result in poor organisational skills, trouble starting and finishing projects and chronic lateness.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has also said that people with the disorder were more likely to be "involved in criminal behaviour or become suicidal".
Professor Antoniou has already used artificial intelligence to develop its potential to predict suicide risk in mental health patients.
He has now continued his research in collaboration with the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in order to show how the technology can be used to help diagnose ADHD in adults and aid further treatment if needed.
As part of the research data routinely collected prior to ADHD diagnosis was fed into an AI algorithm.
Three outcomes are the result: yes or no to further treatment or an unclear result that requires further assessment of the patient.
Professor Antoniou explained the technology will be able to identify the clear-cut cases.
"In many cases, the data itself more or less tells us whether it is a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ for further treatment" he said.
The researchers say the project will result in better decision making.
Two AI technologies were used in the project, the first was machine-learning based using data from previous cases and trained a prediction model.
The second method was knowledge-based - working with clinical experts and asking what their diagnosis would be if they are faced with this data.
“It is the close interplay of AI and medical expertise that has made this development possible,” Professor Antoniou said.
He added the technology is fully embedded in a clinical pathway which ensures there will always be a clinician who can over-ride the AI result.
Professor Antoniou is working alongside with researchers Ilias Tachmazidis and Tianhua Chen from the University of Huddersfield and Professor Marios Adamou, a consultant psychiatrist from the South West Yorkshire NHS Trust.
The technology could result in major cost savings for the NHS and Grow MedTech – a major UK programme providing specialist support for innovation in medical technologies has provided backing for the the development of the technology for future development.
Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it www.facebook.com/groups/yorkshirecoronavirus
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you.