A software platform driven by artificial intelligence called PreSize has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of brain aneurysms. Research has shown that this program is more precise in placing a stent than even experienced neurosurgeons.
AI Could Transform Aneurysm Treatment
An aneurysm refers to a weakened or thin area on a blood vessel wall in the brain that fills with blood. A ruptured aneurysm can be life-threatening.
A stent is a mesh tube that expands to redirect blood flow, relieving excess pressure that could lead to an aneurysm rupture. Subsequently, blood should clot and dissolve.
The placement of stents currently involves a considerable degree of uncertainty. According to Dr. Katerina Spranger, the founder of Oxford Heartbeat, the company responsible for PreSize. Stents are typically positioned using a catheter inserted through the groin, guided by X-ray imaging, but this approach can entail potential complications.
“If the device is for example, undersized, it can detach from the blood vessels and start travelling around the circulatory system of the body, which is huge complication,” said Dr Spranger.
“Or if it’s oversized, it can almost rupture the vessel.”
PreSize provides a precise representation of the patient’s brain and creates “digital twins” that simulate the behavior of a stent as it would occur in real-life conditions. This enables predictions of the potential outcome when a specific device is placed in a particular location within the brain.
Furthermore, the program can be utilized in the operating room to experiment with various stent options, allowing medical professionals to determine which stent will yield the best results for the specific case.
“A fraction of a millimetre can make or break a surgery,” added Dr Spranger.
PreSize has already been employed in surgical procedures for 375 patients. Its use extends to seven hospitals in England and Scotland, with additional cases carried out in Germany, Finland, and Ukraine.
NIHR Recognizes the Potential of AI Technology in Treating Patients
The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) acknowledges the substantial potential of AI technologies in expediting diagnosis, treatment, and enhancing patient outcomes. NIHR, in collaboration with the NHS AI Lab, is supporting various AI projects. Their support is to collect the necessary evidence that can pave the way for broader integration of this technology across the NHS.
The advantages of PreSize are particularly promising, based on initial research findings. A study published in the BMJ Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery determined that PreSize was more accurate in predicting the precise placement of a stent within the brain. Human clinicians achieved an average accuracy rate of 81%, while PreSize demonstrated an accuracy rate of 95%.
Dr. Spranger emphasized the need for further research before considering wider deployment of AI in healthcare. She stated that it is essential to rigorously test and verify new systems. Moreover, medical device software companies like Oxford Heartbeat should be accountable for addressing any concerns and building trust in AI applications in healthcare.