Saturday, April 20, 2024

NICE Supports Integration of AI Solutions for Stroke Diagnosis in the NHS

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The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of two artificial intelligence-powered software tools, e-Stroke, and RapidAI, in the NHS to assist in the detection of strokes from CT brain scans. NICE stated that there is some evidence suggesting that people admitted to the hospital with suspected this condition had faster access to treatment after using the software, although it remains unclear whether this was a direct result of the digital technology. The recommendation is that these tools can be used while further evidence is generated to determine their cost-effectiveness.

e-Stroke, developed by Brainomix, is already in use in hundreds of hospitals across the UK. It provides real-time interpretation of brain scans to guide treatment and transfer decisions for this condition patients. RapidAI, developed by a company of the same name, combines imaging and workflow to enable faster triage and transfer decisions for doctors. Both tools are used in the NHS, with some form of AI deployed in 99 out of 107 stroke units in England.

AI-Powered Stroke Detection Software with Emphasis on Professional Review and Cost-Effectiveness

NICE’s guidance emphasizes that the software should only be used with healthcare professional review and that clinical centers should continue using their current scan reporting protocols to reduce the risk of incorrect results. In cost-effectiveness modeling, NICE’s appraisal committee concluded that even a small increase in the number of people undergoing thrombectomies (surgery to remove blood clots) due to the use of AI software would likely make the software value for money.

The cost of the software license for e-Stroke is around £30,000 per year for a comprehensive center and £15,000 per year for an acute center. RapidAI has an average cost of around £20,000 per center.


Ten AI Tools Evaluated by NICE Fall Short of Recommendation for Clinical Use

Additionally, NICE evaluated ten other AI tools, including Accipio, Aidoc, BioMind, BrainScan CT, Cercare Perfusion, CINA Head, CT Perfusion 4D, icobrain ct, Neuro Solution, and qER. These tools did not meet the threshold for recommendation and should be used only for research purposes with company or research funding. Some of these tools are not yet commercially available in the UK.

Strokes are a significant health issue in the UK, with over 100,000 strokes occurring every year. It is a leading cause of disability and one of the most common causes of early death, with a quarter of this condition happening in people of working age. NICE’s recommendation to use AI tools for stroke detection is aimed at improving the timely diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients, potentially saving lives and reducing disability.


Resource: Pharmaphorum, January 23, 2024

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