An AI heart attack scan could soon be launched across the UK. science

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An artificial intelligence system that can identify people who are likely to have a heart attack 10 years in the future could soon be operational across the UK.

The technology, which could save thousands of lives a year, is being assessed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) and a decision on its use in the NHS is expected by the end of the year.

Project scientists have also revealed that they are working on similar AI systems to predict whether someone is at risk of stroke and at risk for conditions such as diabetes.

“The technology has now been trialled in a number of hospitals across the UK and the results have been very encouraging,” said Professor Charalambos Antonidis, leader of the Orphan (Oxford Risk Factors and Non-Invasive Imaging) study. If implemented nationally, it would help save thousands of people from early heart attacks or deaths from heart disease.

Antoniades said more than 300,000 people in the UK every year have severe chest pain and undergo a CT scan to check for heart problems such as blocked arteries. However, fewer than 20 percent of those scanned were found to have blockages or dangerous narrowing of their coronary arteries. “The remaining 80%-plus show no abnormalities. They are reassured and often sent home without medication,” said Antoniades, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Oxford. “However, these assurances often turn out to be false.”

Professor Charalambos Antoniades led the study. Image: Handout

In fact, about two-thirds of this “safe” group suffer major – sometimes fatal – cardiovascular events, including heart attacks. “Clearly we are missing signals from our scans that could tell us about people who are at real risk,” he added. “This is a huge health care problem, and we believe AI is the best technology to tackle it.”

The research was led by a team from Oxford University's Radcliffe Department of Medicine The Lancet Last week, standard CT (computed tomography) scans are designed to look for abnormalities missed. This knowledge will allow doctors to prescribe preventive treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs to patients.

Much of the problem, Antoniades said, was that damage to the artery caused by inflammation was not picked up by CT scans. “Our discovery was to find a way to use AI to enhance our CT scan images to reveal hidden information to reveal what damage has occurred. In the past, we were able to image We weren't but now we can.

The technique uses data on the characteristics of coronary plaques, as well as changes in fat around inflamed arteries, to provide important information about the state of the health of our coronary arteries. “Essentially, these readings tell us what a patient's absolute risk is of having a fatal heart event in the next 10 years,” he said.

These risk factors were originally worked out using US case studies but have since been reviewed using data from 40,000 patients in UK hospitals.

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“What we found was clear. Patients who showed more inflammation in their coronary arteries also had a higher risk of serious heart disease, such as heart attack. We wanted to identify these hidden factors. A method has been found to cause heart attacks.

The study, funded by the British Heart Foundation, revealed that in 45 percent of cases, clinicians decided to change a patient's treatment given the data provided by AI analysis. These treatments include giving high doses of statins or drugs such as colchicine, which are known to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease.

Antoniades added: “We are also planning to expand the delivery of this UK-developed technology to the US, where it is also under review by the Food and Drug Administration, and to Europe, where it is already approved for clinical use. Done.”

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