The intricate procedure of treating brain aneurysms could see a transformation, thanks to an innovative software platform named PreSize. Developed by Oxford Heartbeat, the platform embraces the power of artificial intelligence to bring remarkable advancements in stent placement— a critical step in managing aneurysms.
What Are Aneurysms and Stent PlacementsF?
An aneurysm presents itself as a weak or thin spot on a blood vessel wall in the brain that fills with blood, posing a serious threat should it burst. In treating this, a stent, a mesh tube, springs open to divert blood flow, thereby preventing extra pressure that could cause the aneurysm to rupture.
Dr Katerina Spranger, founder of Oxford Heartbeat, shared her insights, stating, “there’s currently a lot of guesswork” in placing the stent, highlighting the profound necessity for a tool like PreSize in medical practices. Indeed, miscalculations in this procedure, such as undersizing or oversizing the stent, can invite severe complications, including the detachment or rupture of blood vessels.
Precision to Surgery with AI
PreSize brings to the table a novel approach. It offers an accurate image of the patient’s brain and creates “digital twins” that mimic a stent. That way the software can predict the outcome of inserting a particular device into a particular location. Dr. Spranger elaborates, “A fraction of a millimetre can make or break a surgery.”
The software can be used directly in the operating theatre, allowing medical professionals to assess and select the stent that will yield the most favourable outcome.
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Research Findings Indicate a Positive Trend
The initiative by PreSize to enhance precision in surgeries has garnered attention in the medical community, with research in the BMJ Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery finding it to be remarkably accurate in predicting stent placement. Human clinicians achieved an average 81% accuracy rate, while PreSize proudly achieved 95%.
This becomes even more pertinent when considering that approximately 1,500 of these surgeries occur in the UK each year, with a worrisome 20% leading to serious complications. The need for an alternative stent in 10% of surgeries adds an additional financial burden of around £10,000 each time.
The Possibilities Across Hospitals
The technology has already found application in operations involving 375 patients across various hospitals in England, Scotland, Germany, Finland, and Ukraine, demonstrating its practical utility in real-world settings.
NIHR remarked there is “huge potential for AI technologies to speed up diagnosis and treatment and improve outcomes for patients.” The institution is funding numerous AI projects, including PreSize, alongside the NHS AI Lab, to bring these technologies to more patients across the NHS in the foreseeable times.
Caution and Ensuring Tests
Impressive findings aside, Dr. Spranger believes extensive research is necessary before wider deployment is possible. She added, “AI has the potential to revolutionise healthcare, but before we adopt it we must rigorously test new systems.” It reflects a mindful approach towards integrating technology into healthcare, ensuring that it stands up to stringent examination and truly serves the intended purpose to enhance patient care and outcomes.
The intersection of healthcare and artificial intelligence, embodied by platforms like PreSize, depicts the incredible strides being made to enhance medical procedures and patient outcomes. Conducting further research and applications as well, is key. This is an exciting new chapter for medical science and patient care.