Stroke diagnosis

AI tech improves NHS stroke diagnosis

NHS patients are set to benefit from faster and more accurate stroke diagnoses thanks to new AI technology in the Midlands.

Clinicians at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust can now use a new software that processes images and detect brain abnormalities, known as RapidAI.

Once a patient has undergone a CT scan, RapidAI will review the images and send an alert to doctors which can be accessed via their smart devices.

Consultant stroke physician at Sandwell and West Birmingham, Dr Kamel Sharobeem, said: “I am delighted that we have launched this crucial cutting-edge technology to further improve timely assessment and treatment decisions for our stroke patients.

“Each minute of delay has the potential to cause an increase in long term disability to the patient and it’s vital treatment is given quickly. Utilising a digital platform to view images in a faster way enables decision-making and transfers for a thrombectomy to be as efficient and quick as possible.”

If a blood cot is detected using this process, patients can be injected with a drug called thrombolysis.

If a large artery is blocked, however, patients will be taken to a specialist neuroscience centre for a mechanical thrombectomy – a procedure to remove the clot, restore blood flow and prevent long-term damage.

Dr Sharobeem continued: “The clinical team still make the final decision, but the AI software allows the speedy transfer of images to review the scans (CT head and CT angiogram). Stroke is a life-threatening and disabling condition where the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off.”

He concluded: “For every minute that treatment is not given, a person will lose nearly two million nerve cells, increasing the risk of long term disability. If more patients with a stroke are then able to access thrombectomy, we know that this improves outcomes and reduces disability and dependency for patients.”

Image credit: iStock

NHE March/April 2024

NHE March/April 2024

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