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AI used for the first time at Hereford County Hospital to determine care for stroke patients

Hereford Voice

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A new diagnostic system which uses Artificial Intelligence to help doctors make quick decisions after a patient has had a stroke has been used for the first time at Hereford County Hospital.

Members of WVT’s stroke and radiology teams which are now using AI to help inform decision about the best treatment for stroke patients.

The software allows the speedy analysis of brain scan images which can be viewed on computers or via an app which runs on mobile phones


The new RapidAI software, which analyses brain images of stroke patients to help determine whether a patient is a suitable candidate for either an operation or drugs to remove a blood clot, only went live at the hospital yesterday.

“The new software does this by automatically identifying the presence of Large Vessel Occlusions – a blockage in one of the main arteries in the brain - to a high accuracy, as well as highlighting any possible intracranial haemorrhages – areas of bleeding - and giving a rating which is used to determine critical changes in the level of blood flow on CT brain scans in acute strokes.” said Jenny Vernel senior radiographer and PACS manager at the Trust.

“The results and images are immediately available to us within the Trust, on our existing Picture Archiving Computer System (PACS) as well as the Stroke Team and Neuroradiologists in Birmingham to assist in rapid assessment of the imaging to decide on the best treatment for the patient in the shortest time possible to maximise the reversal of stroke symptoms and vastly improve patient recovery.”

The software assists clinicians to make a quick decision as to whether a patient requires either a Thrombectomy (to remove the clot through an operation) or Thrombolysis (using drugs to remove the clot),” added Jenny.

“AI will never replace the clinical expertise that our doctors and consultants have, but harnessing this latest technology is allowing us to make very quick decisions based on the experiences of thousands of other stroke patients.

“The system is linked to the Comprehensive Stroke Centre at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, meaning that clinical teams and experts at both sites can make faster and more informed clinical decisions – this is essential when treating stroke patients.”

Wye Valley NHS Trust is the first Trust in the West Midlands to roll out RapidAI as a satellite hospital to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust which is acting as the hub for the region.

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