Technology can apply AI to pneumothorax, brain bleeds

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Technology that enables accelerated clinical review and diagnosis of acute conditions in medical imaging can be used in Europe after gaining certification for use.

The technology, from Zebra Medical Vision of Israel, can be connected to any PACS system; the developers say the two products can analyze relevant scans with corresponding algorithms.

The approach is one that can be used to bring artificial intelligence and algorithms to fit within the workflows of radiologists to help them in facilitating the analysis of images. The technology can flag time-critical cases such as pneumothorax and brain bleeds.

Zebra Medical executives say that after an acute condition is detected from images, a standard HL7 message alerts the hospitals’ various systems, such as the radiology department or emergency department worklists. Hospitals can customize how the alert is presented in the worklist. The technology can be deployed on-premise or via the cloud—either method doesn’t compromise the core radiology workflow or originally acquired images, and there’s no risk of breaching protected health information laws governing data.

Among the conditions for which the Zebra Medical technology can be used are pneumothorax in chest X-rays and brain bleeds in CT scans. The company contends that it can help reduce by 80 percent the time it takes to spot acute conditions.

Pneumothorax—the presence of gas within the pleural space between the lung and the chest wall—remains a globally important health problem with considerable associated morbidity and healthcare costs. Without prompt management, pneumothorax can lead to total lung collapse and other potentially fatal complications.

Brain bleed is even more prevalent and accounts for approximately 8 percent to 15 percent of all strokes in western countries. Strokes or traumatic brain injury occur every nine seconds, and diagnostic brain scans can cost $150,000 per patient.

“In a clinical validation study we performed, Zebra Medical’s acute CXR pneumothorax and CT brain bleed products demonstrated a promising potential to substantially reduce turnaround time and increase the radiologist's confidence in making these diagnoses,” says Terence Matalon, MD, chairman of diagnostic radiology at Albert Einstein Medical Center. "Seeing the software in action emphasized key aspects that AI solutions must address in order to impact our field—high accuracy, speed, seamless integration to our workflow, and the ability to work on multi modalities, both X-ray and CT."

“Our acute-findings line of products emphasizes the Zebra Medical Vision team’s dedication to providing AI solutions to the majority of radiology departments worldwide who are reading and reporting more than just one modality,” says Eyal Gura, Zebra-Med’s CEO and Co-Founder.

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