New tool ensuring timely help for stroke patients

A high-tech tool to help save vital minutes at a critical time is making a difference for stroke patients.

By David Sedgwick
Monday, 5th July 2021, 10:51 am
Brainomix’s e-Stroke software is being used to help stroke patients.
Brainomix’s e-Stroke software is being used to help stroke patients.

Since November, patients at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust have been benefitting from the use of Brainomix’s e-Stroke.

The specialist software analyses images from brain scans, which uses artificial intelligence to recognise abnormalities and highlight them to the specialist within seconds, helping them make important decisions about patient care quickly.

In the first five months of this year, the Trust used Brainomix software almost 60 times.

One possible treatment is thrombolysis – a ‘clot-busting’ injection to dissolve the clot and allow blood to flow back into the affected part of the brain and limit damage, which has been a mainstay of stroke care for around 15 years.

Another option, introduced more recently, is thrombectomy, a procedure to physically remove the clot, which requires a transfer to a Newcastle hospital as well as a special – and tricky to read – scan.

Stuart Huntley, consultant physician in stroke and elderly medicine at the Trust, said: “This new technology supports us to provide the most appropriate emergency care to our stroke patients, reducing the time it takes to assess and treat patients.

“Brainomix is a decision aid and it doesn’t replace human involvement, just supports it.

"We don’t rely on it completely, but if it fits with our opinion then we can speak to Newcastle.

"It cuts both time and doubt, and so far, it has proved really helpful and very reliable.”

Another feature Brainomix has is a cloud-based function so everyone has access to the scan analysis immediately.