The treatment of brain aneurysms, a life-threatening medical condition, could undergo a revolutionary transformation through an innovative software platform powered by Artificial Intelligence. Researchers have unveiled PreSize, a program that has demonstrated superior accuracy in positioning stents to treat brain aneurysms compared to experienced neurosurgeons. This breakthrough is poised to eliminate the guesswork that has historically accompanied stent placement, potentially saving countless lives.
An aneurysm is a weak or thin spot on the vessel wall in the brain, which can fill with blood and pose a severe risk if ruptured. To mitigate this danger, a stent is typically used. A stent is a mesh tube that opens up to redirect blood flow, alleviating pressure on the aneurysm and allowing the blood to clot and dissolve over time.
However, the precision in stent placement has always been a challenging aspect of aneurysm treatment. Surgeons must rely on their expertise to navigate a catheter from the patient’s groin, with the aid of X-rays, through the body to the brain. This procedure carries potential complications: an undersized stent can detach and cause serious problems, while an oversized stent can damage the blood vessel.
PreSize, developed by Oxford Heartbeat, addresses these issues by providing neurosurgeons with unprecedented accuracy and predictive capabilities in stent placement. Dr. Katerina Spranger, founder of Oxford Heartbeat, describes the challenge of stent placement as involving “a lot of guesswork.”
PreSize’s functionality includes creating an accurate image of the patient’s brain and generating “digital twins” that simulate the behavior of a stent in real-life conditions. These simulations allow surgeons to predict precisely how a particular stent will perform when placed in a specific location. The software can be used in the operating room, where surgeons can experiment with different stent options to determine the best fit for each patient.
Dr. Spranger emphasized the significance of even the slightest precision: “A fraction of a millimeter can make or break a surgery.”
PreSize has already been employed in over 375 surgeries, taking place in seven hospitals across England and Scotland, as well as in Germany, Finland, and Ukraine. The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) has highlighted the immense potential of Artificial Intelligence technologies to accelerate diagnosis and treatment while improving patient outcomes. NIHR is collaborating with the NHS Artificial Intelligence Lab to support various Artificial Intelligence projects, including PreSize, with the goal of bringing these innovations to a broader patient base.
The initial research results suggest that PreSize could be a game-changer. A study published in the BMJ Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery compared the software’s accuracy with human clinicians. While clinicians achieved an average accuracy rate of 81%, PreSize outperformed them, achieving an impressive accuracy rate of 95%.
However, Dr. Spranger cautions that further research is needed before widespread deployment. She underscores the importance of rigorous testing to ensure the software’s reliability and safety. She acknowledges the potential of Artificial Intelligence to revolutionize healthcare but advocates for holding medical device software companies accountable to address any concerns related to AI trustworthiness.
In a medical landscape that is becoming increasingly intertwined with Artificial Intelligence technologies, PreSize stands as a prime example of how these advancements can enhance precision, improve patient outcomes, and reshape the future of healthcare.
Artificial intelligence-driven software, known as PreSize, is revolutionizing the treatment of brain aneurysms by significantly enhancing the precision of stent placement. This innovation, developed by Oxford Heartbeat, offers a solution to the challenge of placing stents accurately, a crucial aspect of aneurysm treatment. PreSize provides neurosurgeons with the ability to create precise patient brain images and digital stent simulations, allowing them to predict stent performance accurately.
With over 375 surgeries in its portfolio, PreSize has demonstrated remarkable accuracy in stent placement, surpassing human clinicians. While the software shows immense potential, further research and rigorous testing are necessary before widespread deployment. PreSize exemplifies the transformative impact of Artificial Intelligence technologies in healthcare, promising improved patient outcomes and enhanced precision in medical procedures.