Brain MRI

AI software used to help speed up treatment for stroke patients

Northumbria Healthcare NHS FT have been offering a specialist software to analyse images from brain scans, using artificial intelligence (AI), since November. The technology is able to recognise brain abnormalities and highlight them to the specialist within seconds.

The tool is expected to save time during critical moments for stroke patients. Information collected from the scans will help clinicians make important patient care decisions as quickly as possible.

When it comes to patients who have suffered from a stroke, time is crucial. For each minute that passes, it is estimated that two million neurons die. The trust used the tech in the first five months of this year, almost 60 times.

Thrombolysis is a treatment that has been the main drug used for stroke care for around 15 years, which would possibly be used in this scenario. Through this method an injection would be used to dissolve the clot and allow blood to flow back into the affected part of the brain, limiting damage.

Thrombectomy is another option which was introduced recently, where the clot is physically removed. Some of the issues with this method have been the fact this it requires a transfer to a Newcastle hospital as well as a special – and tricky to read – scan. This is because the clot is only accessible if it is in certain parts of the brain.

Another factor has been the unreliability of transferring crucial images from brain scans between hospitals, which has cost time during crucial moments. The software has a cloud-based function, which is thought to resolve this through providing everyone access to the scan analysis immediately.

Stuart Huntley, Consultant Physician in stroke and elderly medicine at the trust, said: “This new technology supports us to provide the most appropriate emergency care to our stroke patients, reducing the time it takes to assess and treat patients.

“(Our partner) is a decision aid and it doesn’t replace human involvement, just supports it. We don’t rely on it completely, but if it fits with our opinion then we can speak to Newcastle. It cuts both time and doubt, and so far, it has proved really helpful and very reliable.”

AI and machine learning is something that has become utilised even more across healthcare. Some of the benefits have included providing additional support for clinicians to treat patients more efficiently and effectively.

Experts at the trust believe this this type of technology will have a real impact on patient care.

Project Manager, Kieran Woods, said: “I really feel that these kinds of innovations that use state-of-the-art technology to support our clinical staff to do their jobs will be the way of things more and more going forward.”

NHE July/August 21

NHE July/August 21

Prioritising staff wellbeing

NHE’s July/August 2021 edition focuses on some of the key, defining aspects of a successful, supported health service: Mental Health & Workforce. Elsewhere, we take on the incredibly topical Infection Prevention and address the role which Pharma will play in both our NHS and wider health environment.

Videos...

View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Festival: Net-Zero NHS

As was outlined by Sir Simon Stevens when the NHS announced their green plans back in 2020, 5,700 lives could be saved each year by improved air quality. Even more could see their overall health improve and be in a position to self-manage their conditions, rather than requiring NHS treatment. Covid-19 has already left the NHS with a sizeable treatment backlog, so anything which can be done to improve patient health and reduce demand is beneficial for all.

Working together, we can help the NHS realise its green ambitions as per the Net-Zero National Health Service report and its ambitious 2040 target. Join us on August 25, 2021 for our Net-Zero NHS event, where we will be joined by health sector leaders and innovators for a day of sharing best practice and networking.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all