Prof. Dr. med. Jan Peter Goltz (Chief Physician Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology / Neuroradiology, left) and Dr. med. Christian Mohr (Head of Section Neuroradiology)
Sana Klinik Lübeck has reached another milestone in stroke care with the purchase of the Brainomix e-Stroke Suite. Artificial intelligence helps assess damage to the brain.
The following is an English translated excerpt from an article in Lübecker Nachrichten. The original German article can be found here
With more than 270,000 cases per year, stroke is the most common cause of disability in Germany after heart attack and cancer. Since the beginning of February this year, the Sana Klinik Lübeck has reached another milestone in stroke care with the purchase of Brainomix’s e-Stroke Suite. Similar to other large international stroke centres, artificial intelligence (AI) now scans a patient’s CT image for stroke, then automatically evaluates the severity of the stroke and even determines where the occlusion of the brain vessels has occurred. This AI assessment runs automatically in the background, allowing the stroke team to conduct initial care of the patient following imaging.
No Time Delay – the Patients Are Treated Faster! The imaging reports are sent to the smartphone or tablet of all stroke specialists at Sana Klinik Lübeck within seconds, as an immediate stroke alarm - even after work and at night. There is no delay in the transmission of information. Patients are treated more quickly with a blood clot-busting infusion (systemic thrombolysis) and / or with a minimally invasive brain catheter procedure (clot removal / thrombobectomy).
"Time is brain, nerve cells die every second in an ischemic (bloodless) stroke," emphasizes Dr. Christian Mohr , Head of the Neuroradiology Section at Sana Kliniken Lübeck, the importance of speed in treatment. “Only then will there be a realistic chance for the patient to survive a stroke without a disability.”
"Unfortunately, a large number of patients underestimate stroke, " said Dr. Mohr further. “They don't immediately call the emergency services on 112, but instead admit themselves to their family doctor or wait and see if their symptoms go away. The emergency remains even if the symptoms regress. Valuable time is wasted and many stroke patients still reach us too late. "
Of course, all AI results are also checked by neurologists and neuroradiologists and the result is medically confirmed before treatment is started. At present, artificial intelligence can only detect the ischemic stroke that is present in 85 percent of all cases and in which a clot clogs an artery. The detection of brain haemorrhage, which accounts for 15 percent of strokes, will be available in the next version of Brainomix’s software, so that patient safety is further increased. If a cerebral hemorrhage is not recognized and an ischemic stroke is assumed, the initiation of systemic thrombolysis can have potentially fatal consequences. The symptoms of both types of stroke are so similar that the distinction can only be made with CT images of the brain.
The Clinic for Neurology, which has existed since 2013 and has been certified as a national stroke specialist station (stroke unit) since 2018, and the Institute for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology / Neuroradiology have equipped themselves for the future with the e-Stroke Suite. In 2019, the stroke specialists at the Sana Klinic performed more than 130 acute stroke treatments with systemic thrombolysis and almost 100 minimally invasive thrombectomies. The interdisciplinary stroke team expects the use of AI to accelerate therapies in 2020. It is further expected that the increasing number of treatments as a result of the optimal selection will also increase the rate of disability-free survival of patients with ischemic stroke.