Suicide is the second most frequent cause of death among people aged 10 to 34 in the U.S. and the fourth most frequent cause of death for people between the ages of 34 and 54, according to the CDC. We have written about programs that use AI to help children make wiser decisions, machine learning algorithms that identify suicidal adolescents, and smartphone app designed to help prevent suicide. Identifying people with suicidal intentions from the field of individuals who act out, suffer from depression, and engage in self-destructive addictive behaviors is among the most elusive challenges in medicine.

ERT, a global clinical trial support company, announced significant enhancements to its patient self-rated suicide risk assessment scale, the electronic Columbia-Suicide Severity Ratign Scale (eC-SSRS). New developments with the scale improve interviewer bias and reduce the risk of patient non-disclosure. ERT research found that patients were more likely to answer completely and with greater candor when they completed the eC-SSRS by themselves on a tablet-based native app. The eC-SSRS measurement tool uses algorithms with adaptive branching based on self-rated input about suicidal ideation and behavior to assess patient suicide risk. The application alerts healthcare professionals immediately when it determines the patient is at significant risk of suicide.

Using the eC-SSRS as part of an initial screening, patient intake, or during treatment, gives healthcare professionals a valuable tool to identify high-risk patients so that intervention can begin promptly.