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AI approach to identifying stroke risk from CT scans gets FDA nod

An artificial intelligence solution has received federal approval for use in analyzing brain CT scans for a significant cause of strokes.

Aidoc says its AI solution for radiologists for identifying potential large-vessel occlusion (LVO) received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for use in treating patients.

Previously, the FDA cleared Aidoc’s module for flagging and prioritizing intracranial hemorrhages in CT scans. The company says the use of the two modules “provide a comprehensive package for the identification and triage of both ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke in CTs.”

The use of the technology holds the promise of speeding identification of problems and thus treatment. This is important in stroke treatment, because every minute in which treatment can be accelerated means more brain cells could be saved, which can positively impact treatment and recovery times, as well as patients’ quality of life.

"Stroke is the ultimate time-critical condition," says Marcel Maya, MD, co-chair of the Department of Imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "The faster we can identify, diagnose and treat it, the better the outcome for patients. Aidoc's comprehensive stroke package flags both large vessel occlusion and hemorrhages inside our existing workflows, ensuring we can diagnose stroke faster and decide on the best course of treatment.

“We're already seeing how this has a positive impact on department efficiency and patient length of stay," Maya adds.

Research indicates that five percent of all deaths in the USA are from stroke, and it is one of the major causes of disability. During a stroke, 1.9 million neurons and 14 billion synapses die each minute, making fast diagnosis and treatment critical.

Improved medical imaging and better treatments have revolutionized stroke care, making it possible to clear occlusions in the brain's arteries using thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy. However, hemorrhage must be ruled out before administering a thrombolytic agent. The faster the time from door-to-treatment for patients suffering from stroke, the more likely a patient will survive without serious neurological impairment.

Aidoc executives say its integrated solution provides a single context for radiologists to diagnose both LVO and hemorrhage, so they can quickly decide on the most appropriate course of action.

Research performed by the University of Rochester Medical Center showed Aidoc's ability to reduce turnaround time for emergency department patients with intracranial hemorrhage by 36.6 percent. Research by Yale-New Haven Hospital confirmed Aidoc's impact in expediting the time to treatment for these critical cases, the company contends.

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