Doctors using AI to predict heart attack risk more accurately
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London doctors are using artificial intelligence to predict which patients with chest pains are at greatest risk of death.
A trial at Barts Heart Centre, in Smithfield, and the Royal Free Hospital, in Hampstead, found that poor blood flow was a “strong predictor” of heart attack, stroke and heart failure.
Doctors used computer programs to analyse images of the heart from more than 1,000 patients and cross-referenced the scans with their health over the next two years.
The computers were “taught” to search for indicators of future “adverse cardiovascular outcomes” and are now used in a real-time basis to help doctors identify who is most at risk.
This ensures that patients in need of treatment receive medication to improve blood flow or undergo procedures such as stenting to open blocked heart valves.
Blood flow is the amount of blood that gets to the heart. Heart attacks happen when the amount of blood is reduced or stopped.
Dr Kristopher Knott, from Barts Health NHS Trust and UCL, told the Standard: “We found that the likelihood of one of these adverse events was significantly higher when the blood flow was low.
“The calculations were happening as the patients were being scanned, and the results were immediately delivered to doctors.
“As poor blood flow is treatable, these better predictions ultimately lead to better patient care, as well as giving us new insights into how the heart works.”
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Heart disease is the leading global cause of death. Reduced blood flow is a common symptom of many heart conditions.
Cardiovascular magnetic resonance scans are available but, up until now, the images have been incredibly difficult to analyse.
Today’s study, funded by the British Heart Foundation and published in the journal Circulation, is the first to show how AI can instantly and accurately measure blood flow better than a doctor.
Professor James Moon, from Barts and UCL, said: “Artificial intelligence is moving out of the computer labs and into the real world of healthcare, carrying out some tasks better than doctors could do alone.”More about: | heart attack | Hampstead