Photo: RBFT Chief Executive Officer Steve McManus (centre) with Dr Kiruba Nagaratnam, RBH Consultant Stroke Physician and Geriatrician, RBH colleagues and partners from Brainomix and National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI)
Ground-breaking medical technology which could help save the lives of hundreds of stroke patients is being pioneered at Reading’s Royal Berkshire Hospital.
It’s the first hospital in the Thames Valley to start using the cutting-edge AI software. It is already used in hundreds of hospitals across Europe, Asia, North and South America.
The software, developed by Oxford-based Brainomix, will go live in March and will be used in the Emergency Department (ED) to help clinicians quickly diagnose stroke. This in turn will speed up doctors’ decision making around treatment and, when necessary, fast forward certain patients to specialist centres for clot retrieval treatment.
The AI software analyses the CT images of the brain and its blood vessels immediately after the patient has a scan, automatically highlighting the area of probable damage and the blocked blood vessel. This means it acts as an expert second opinion and helps the physicians make faster treatment decisions with confidence.
Dr Kiruba Nagaratnam, Consultant Stroke Physician and Geriatrician, and Clinical Lead for Stroke Medicine at the RBH, said the software would transform patient care for stroke victims.
He said: “Interpreting CT brain scans is an essential part of the diagnosis and management of strokes. But this expertise is not always readily available the minute people come through the doors of ED. Interpreting scans of the blood vessels adds another layer of complexity and causes delays.
“Time is essential and 2 million nerve cells die every minute we delay the treatment. The role of AI in helping non specialist doctors to rapidly identify and treat strokes at the front door when people walk into ED, is going to be a game changer,” he said.
Dr Michalis Papadakis, CEO of Brainomix, said: “We are very pleased to see Royal Berkshire incorporate our e-Stroke Suite software into their stroke service, and are confident our technology can deliver solutions that will help improve access to life-saving treatments for stroke patients in the region.”
The deployment of the Brainomix e-stroke suite is being supported by the National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging, which is for 5 Centres of Excellence in the UK supporting companies, the NHS and Universities work together with patients to collaborate on AI development in medical imaging.
Dr Claire Bloomfield, NCIMI CEO said “We are delighted to support innovative companies and hospitals like Royal Berkshire and Brainomix in the development and deployment of AI software to improve patient care. We hope to help the further expansion of this fantastic technology across the rest of the NCIMI network.”
The Oxford Academic Health Science Network, which is supporting this pioneering venture, also welcomed the launch of the software at the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.