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AI-led stroke care supporting faster treatment

New study reveals average treatment rate in sites using tech is 55 per cent higher



Sites with Artificial Intelligence (AI) led stroke software are delivering more treatments for stroke survivors in a faster time, a new report has revealed. 

Interim findings from an independent evaluation of the e-Stroke platform by the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) showed that the average treatment rate in the 24 hospitals using the technology was more than 55 per cent higher than the national average having been the same at baseline. 

Treatment rates rose to 5.7 per cent at e-Stroke hospitals, compared to the national average of 3.6 per cent, an uplift that reflects hundreds more patients receiving life-changing treatment.

Some of the highest performing hospitals taking part in the evaluation reached mechanical thrombectomy (MT) rates over 10 per cent, the target set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

The e-Stroke platform, from Brainomix, uses AI to automatically process CT and MRI scans and alert doctors in real-time about those patients who would benefit most from MT, an intervention which can prevent or limit long-term care needs in patients with the most severe strokes due to blockage of a large blood vessel supplying the brain. 

Many stroke patients in the UK who could benefit from mechanical thrombectomy do not receive it. This specialist procedure is done by interventional neuroradiology teams in only 25 of the 170 acute hospitals across England. 

After Brainomix secured the NHS AI in Health and Care Award in 2020, the Oxford AHSN supported the spread and adoption of e-Stroke through participating Integrated Stroke Delivery Networks (ISDNs). 

Oxford AHSN is now carrying out a detailed evaluation of the impact of e-Stroke on patient and clinical outcomes, pathways and productivity.

Professor Gary Ford, chief executive of the Oxford AHSN and a consultant stroke physician at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “Harnessing AI imaging technology within stroke networks has the potential to transform outcomes for many more stroke patients. 

“We have worked with Brainomix and our NHS partners to ensure widespread adoption of e-Stroke and the evaluation is providing more evidence to support further spread.”

Dr George Harston, chief medical and innovation officer at Brainomix and consultant stroke physician at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “The NHS AI Award enabled us to deploy e-Stroke across a range of urban and rural NHS hospital networks, and to have the impact of the AI technology on stroke patient care independently evaluated by the Oxford AHSN. 

“The interim results are very impressive, with e-Stroke sites achieving much higher rates of thrombectomy, ensuring access to life-changing treatment for more patients across the country. 

“Feedback from NHS colleagues reported that the software is helping them to deliver a more efficient and effective stroke services for their patients. 

“We look forward to seeing more results as they come out, building on the largest real-world and independent evaluation of a stroke AI imaging platform.”