Researchers using AI to detect and monitor brain aneurysms

Researchers using AI to detect and monitor brain aneurysms article image

Brain aneurysms are a common disorder caused by a weakness in the wall of a brain artery.

They are present in 2-8 per cent of adults, with multiple aneurysms in more than 10 per cent of them.

Rupture of an aneurysm causes brain haemorrhage in 85 per cent of cases, leading to death in 30-40 per cent of people and 20 per cent permanent disability in those who survive.

Now, a project has been launched using artificial intelligence to improve brain aneurysm diagnoses.

The project is a collaboration between Fujitsu Australia, GE Healthcare, Macquarie University and Macquarie Medical Imaging.

A team of researchers is focusing on developing a solution that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and monitor brain aneurysms on scans faster and more efficiently.

The project has already received a Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grant of AU$2.1M from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Fujitsu is leading the initiative with its AI and digital solutions capability, while GE Healthcare is contributing through its leading medical imaging technology.

Macquarie University and Macquarie Medical Imaging will provide clinical expertise for the development and testing of the technology.

New technology to be distributed globally

Initially the project will focus on refining the technology with a view to creating a fully commercialised solution.

It is hoped the new technology will be distributed through radiology practices in Australia and eventually on a worldwide basis.

Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, says AI can make our daily lives more comfortable by helping to solve difficult problems such as early detection of serious medical issues. This allows more timely treatment intervention.

“We are pleased to be part of this important ‘co-creation’ initiative that leverages the strengths of each of our partners,” he said.

Expedient detection is crucial

Matt Tucker, President and CEO GE Healthcare Australia & New Zealand, said: “As the consequences of brain aneurysm rupture are often fatal, effective and expedient detection is crucial.

“Unfortunately screening and monitoring takes time and specialist expertise not afforded by every radiology practice. The application of AI can give doctors better insights more quickly and produce fewer variable results. We are proud to be part of this program that will transform brain aneurysm diagnosis and improve patient outcomes.”

Algorithm to look for abnormalities

As a part of the project, Fujitsu will apply AI methods to images of the brain generated by GE’s Revolution CT scanner, and use a specifically-trained algorithm to look for abnormalities and aneurysms.

Outcomes from this project are expected to include the development and validation of an AI algorithm capable of highlighting blood vessels within the circle of Willis.

Willis is an arterial ring sited at the base of the brain, that may have one or more aneurysms.

The new technology will also allow the tracking of identified aneurysms over time, providing radiologists with a valuable diagnostic support tool.

Most importantly, it will give patients greater peace of mind knowing aneurysms are being effectively monitored over the long term.

A second element to the project will include a planning tool for surgical (stent) intervention.

This tool will use fluid dynamic modelling to predict the risk of aneurysm rupture.



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