Using AI to understand how preventative interventions can improve the health of children in the UK and reduce winter pressures on the NHS.

Living in cold, damp, and mouldy homes leads to poor health, such as chest conditions in children and mental health problems in adolescents. The rising cost of energy, coupled with wages not increasing in line with inflation, is likely to further widen social inequalities in child health. With families unlikely to be able to afford to heat their homes, health problems for children and young people (CYP) may worsen.

We examine the impact of preventative policy interventions, and if they help to improve health and well-being, and in turn reduce winter pressures on the NHS.

Using new and existing UK social and health data on CYP and families, and Artificial Intelligence, we digitally mimic the household environments of CYP to create an environment in which we can simulate interventions, and thus predict how effective they are at improving health conditions, reducing inequalities, and in turn reducing NHS service pressures.

Our digital mimic is an agent-based model, where state and behaviour are powered by large datasets, and, crucially, an understanding of real human behaviour.


Summary: Although the long-term picture is more complex, overall health utilisation, and disparities between different SEC groups, can potentially be reduced by issuing government advice during the winter months.

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Our interdisciplinary team provides project expertise in health informatics; pediatrics and general practice; mental health; inequalities and racism and health; and policy.
We are also engage with many other individuals from a range of organisations, including those in policy roles, to support our work.