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Neuroradiology tomography
February 28, 2019

John Ikechi Nwankwo Explains How AI is Improving Neuroradiology

Amazing strides are being made in the science of neuroradiology. Together with the rise of AI or artificial intelligence systems, exciting developments in the field have the potential to impact patient care positively. AI systems will be able to run tests and simulations which can direct doctors to the proper course of treatment for these patients. AI and neuroradiology can work together to provide advanced treatment and ensure patient health. John Ikechi Nwankwo, a New York neuroradiologist, examines the implications of new technology and details how AI systems in neuroradiology will be able to provide enhanced patient care.

Better Care for Stroke Patients

One of the areas where AI is poised to make a difference is in the care and treatment of stroke patients. In a stroke, the blood supply to part of the brain is reduced or interrupted. This can deprive the brain tissue of much-needed nutrients and oxygen. In a matter of minutes, brain cells will begin to die. Brain function cannot be regained in those areas.

Systems are being developed which will enable doctors to treat stroke complications with much more precision than before. Based on studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors will soon be able to run CT, and CTA scans through an AI system which can determine which scans have large vein occlusions and are candidates for clot thrombectomy.

Clot thrombectomy, when performed within 16 to 24 hours of the onset of the stroke, can be a valuable tool in helping the patient retain brain function. This technology is still in clinical trials, but early results are promising.

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care

Neuroradiology is able to detect the brain changes of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia while the patient is still alive. This can help target treatments to the specific form of dementia and provide better patient outcomes. An AI system could keep track of images coming in from the scanner and flag those which could be of the most interest to the medical provider.

Nerve Damage

Nerve damage can be caused by many different physical conditions. Nerves can be scanned using MRI, DTI, PET, and ultrasound technologies. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages. Combining these different scans can provide the best possible picture of the injury.

AI could coordinate these different types of imaging, matching the data with the nerve in the body. If the doctor has a complete vision of how the injury has affected the nerve, he or she will have an easier time planning treatment.

Saving Neuroradiologists’ Valuable Time

AI systems are not meant to replace the neuroradiology provider. They are a tool to streamline a doctor’s workflow and to provide fewer obstacles to treatment.

AI systems can help neuroradiologists focus on one-on-one time with the patient, reducing the amount of time spent on analyzing data sets. AI systems can perform analyses which would take human doctors significant time and trouble. For example, an AI system could run tests on a series of brain scans and point out probable abnormalities for the doctor to examine in more detail.

New Advances in AI Benefit All Patients

Artificial intelligence systems are beginning to make a large impact on the world of neuroradiology. While these systems are still in development, they have the potential to transform the field and cause better patient outcomes as well as better physician workflow. Neuroradiologists like John Ikechi Nwankwo understand the strides that AI is making in the field, and they want to share their findings with patients and their families.

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