More stroke patients are benefiting from life-changing treatment thanks to Brainomix's e-Stroke AI platform, according to a recent report from the Oxford Academic Health Science Network (Oxford AHSN).
Brainomix's e-Stroke imaging technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically process CT and MRI scans and alert doctors in real-time about those patients who would benefit most from mechanical thrombectomy (MT), a life-changing treatment which can reduce disability and 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. Prompt recognition of this type of stroke and transfer to specialist centres for treatment is vital to ensure best possible outcomes for patients.
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 located in only 25 of the 170 acute hospitals across England. Most patients with a suspected stroke are first assessed at their local hospital A&E, so patients who might benefit from thrombectomy need to be quickly identified and transferred to a specialist centre before irreversible brain injury has occurred. Identifying patients for transfer relies on interpretation of the brain scan at the local hospital, which can be challenging.
Twenty-four (24) hospitals across England are taking part in an independent evaluation of e-Stroke led by the Oxford AHSN. e-Stroke securely processes CT and MRI brain scans in less than two minutes and sends the results to the doctor's smart phones as well as hospital systems. e-Stroke connects specialists at different hospitals in a network to improve communication and coordination of care.
Interim findings from an independent evaluation of e-Stroke by the Oxford AHSN showed that the average treatment rate in the e-Stroke hospitals was more than 55% higher than the national average having been the same at baseline. Treatment rates rose to 5.7% at e-Stroke hospitals compared to the national average of 3.6%, an uplift that reflects hundreds more patients receiving life-changing MT treatment and avoiding the long-term effects of stroke. Some of the highest performing hospitals taking part in the evaluation reached MT rates over 10%, the target set out in the NHS Long Term Plan. The results are highlighted in this video from Brainomix.
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). The Oxford AHSN is carrying out a detailed evaluation of the impact of e-Stroke on patient and clinical outcomes, pathways and productivity.
The independent evaluation also includes feedback from participating NHS specialist doctors. More than three-quarters felt e-Stroke helped to identify more patients for treatment and improved communication between hospitals. In addition, more than two-thirds felt e-Stroke speeded up decision-making and access to MT.
Professor Gary Ford CBE, FMedSci, 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 & Innovation Officer at Brainomix and Consultant Stroke Physician at Oxford University Hospitals, commented: "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."