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10 questions with….. Albert Yoo

By | Expert Series, News

Dr. Albert Yoo is currently an interventional neuroradiologist, Medical Director and Director of Endovascular Fellowship & Research at the Texas Stroke Institute. He is an incredibly knowledgeable figure in the stroke world after his many years of research and training. He has participated in several major trials of intra-arterial stroke treatment, including MR CLEAN, THERAPY, MR RESCUE, DAWN, ARISE II, and GOLIATH trials. He is currently involved in the TESLA trial which he sheds more light on during this interview. 

How did you come to do what you do?

I stumbled upon it. I was always interested in Neurosciences. In medical school it was a very hard decision between becoming a neurologist, a neurosurgeon or a neuroradiologist. But during my neurosurgery orientation I saw the interventional suite and it was pretty soon after that I realised it was my path because it’s a nice intersection between imaging and therapy. 

After the dust settles, which stroke biomarker do you think will prevail? 

I am impressed with the simpler imaging approaches. A non-contrast CT and CT angiogram are very powerful tools. Part of their power is that they are available virtually everywhere and as we think about moving the field forward not only should we ensure that our imaging selection does not exclude patients who might benefit, we should keep an eye towards standardizing treatment decision making and delivery across all stroke centres.

Do you expect that collateral assessment like multiphase CTA will ever go out of fashion, and if so do you ever think that’s justified? 

Obviously collaterals are important because they sustain the brain tissue until the occlusion is recanalized. However, the clinical question is whether we need to be so fine in grading the strength of the collateral perfusion. I don’t think so. If you have a measure of the infarct size with ASPECTS and the infarct is not too big, then as far as collateral evaluation, all you need to exclude is the complete absence of collaterals. If there are no visible collaterals, patients will not do well regardless of rapid reperfusion as MR CLEAN and other studies have shown. Otherwise, it doesn’t matter whether the collaterals are intermediate or robust because in either case there is treatment benefit. I believe that traditional single-phase CTA is sufficient to say whether the collaterals are absent or at least partially present.

If there was a large increase in the use of MRI in acute stroke care across the world, due to increased availability for example, would you be happy with this and why?

Yes I think MRI is the most accurate imaging modality for determining the size of the infarct at presentation and to me that’s a key imaging finding to decide whether or not to pursue treatment, but as you are alluding to there needs to be improved availability of MRI as well as faster MRI workflow. With clinical experience, centers can have treatment times with MRI that are just as fast as with CT. This was shown in the recent GOLIATH trial that was conducted at Aarhus University hospital which uses MRI as their primary imaging approach. 

Do you think there is still a space for EVT patient selection within the 6-hour time window?

Within the 6-hour time window you need to have a very strong reason not to treat. That being said imaging is still necessary. You need a CT scan to rule out hemorrhage, and this same scan will tell you whether the ASPECTS is too low. You also need a CTA to evaluate the level of occlusion, and this scan will tell you whether the collaterals are absent. When it’s early you pretty much have to have evidence of zero collaterals or a very large stroke to not go to the angio suite. Fortunately, CT/CTA is very quick to perform. 

You are working on the TESLA trial, a very exciting project which could potentially have a huge impact for the field, what outcome are you hoping for and why? And what do you think the outcome will mean for the role of ASPECTS in stroke?

As an interventionist my hope is to provide evidence that expands the treatment population. We have very strong evidence in patients who have small infarcts and good collaterals. What is uncertain is whether patients with moderately large to very large infarcts will have a benefit with rapid reperfusion. I think there is a subset there which will benefit just based on the existing data, and probably many of these patients are not being treated currently.

Paradoxically, it will make ASPECTS more important because the trial will have established a threshold ASPECTS value that is critical for determining treatment response. At the same time, there would be a rationale to test whether more advanced imaging modalities can identify subgroups within the low ASPECTS population that might respond to treatment.

Recently there was a large Chinese trial that showed the non-inferiority of Direct EVT which was a pretty big deal, do you think this result will hold up in other trials? 

It’s important to remember that this trial only applies to the subset of patients who present directly to the endovascular centre where the time period over which IV tPA has a chance to work is very small, so it’s a result that is not surprising and I’m sure it will be confirmed in future trials. I think the key point to remember is that IV tPA is still useful in patients who are being transferred (drip-and-ship patients) for consideration of endovascular therapy. The real question is how does this trial result change practice for patients who present front door (direct admit to Endovascular Center)? There is a rationale based on cost to just forgo the tPA but cost issues aside there were still signals of benefit for tPA for early recanalisation obviating the need for intervention and overall reperfusion. In addition, there may be patient subgroups that might benefit from IV tPA that could not be detected with adequate power such as those in whom the occlusion cannot be reached. Also remember this is a moving target. It is likely that we will be using tenecteplase instead of alteplase soon. Do these results apply to tenecteplase? Probably not because we know that tenecteplase performs better than IV tPA for endovascular eligible patients. About 75% of subjects in EXTEND-IA TNK received intravenous thrombolysis at the endovascular centre.

EXTEND-IA TNK showed significant benefit of tenecteplase over IV tPA as a bridge to endovascular therapy. In more general stroke populations, there is strong evidence for the noninferiority of tenecteplase. Taken together, there is sufficient evidence to support using tenecteplase in place of alteplase. The fact that tenecteplase can be given as a single bolus dose further adds to its clinical utility.

What are your thoughts on nerinetide? Do you think it has the potential to be a game changer?

Neuroprotection as a bridge to intra-arterial reperfusion is a very attractive idea. This concept was tested in ESCAPE-NA1. Unfortunately, the primary analysis of this trial was neutral. The secondary finding that benefit was seen only in patients who did not receive bridging alteplase must be regarded as exploratory and requires confirmation. I believe that a subsequent trial is being planned in the IV tPA-ineligible population.

How do you think artificial intelligence benefits acute stroke care?

I think it works brilliantly as a screening tool to alert the team that there is high suspicion of LVO. The communication gets everyone coordinated in a parallel fashion. From the early experience at our center, it seems to really help with the workflow and speeds the time to intra-arterial treatment. Of course, the algorithms are not perfect but they don’t need to be. They just need to screen and capture most patients so that the LVO can be confirmed by the physicians. It is likely that AI will become increasingly involved in the actual selection of patients. We are seeing this in the realm of CT perfusion. In my opinion CT perfusion over selects — it selects patients away from treatment that should be treated and there is evidence to that effect. But I think AI algorithms as applied to imaging findings on noncontrast CT and also CTA collaterals will be very helpful. If you have a tool that has been validated to accurately tell you that the ASPECTS score is this or the CTA collaterals are not absent then it becomes a tool that can standardize treatment decision-making across centres. I think there are a lot of things that will continue to develop as these tools are utilised more and more.

Do you think covid-19 will have a positive or negative effect on progress of stroke research in the future?

I think it’s too early to say. Certainly, in the short-term there’s been a major impact. What we’ve seen in TESLA is that stroke volumes are down broadly. I think the likely reason is that patients aren’t seeking care as aggressively as they used to out of fear of coming to the hospital. But the crisis has highlighted opportunities to improve trial methodology in the future. As one example, we are finding that centers are now adopting electronic consent as a means to enroll patients whose LARs are not able to be in the hospital. This will help enrollment beyond the Covid-19 era.

Do you think it’s better to focus on complex stroke imaging techniques which will have a greater effect on the Western world or is it better to focus on more pragmatic techniques that would benefit more broadly including developing countries?

This is an issue that I think is so important. Many physicians in First World industrialized nations get very enamoured with advanced imaging technologies just because they are advanced and provide an “easy” answer. But I’ve studied the spectrum of acute stroke imaging over the past decade, and I find that the “easy” answer particularly as it relates to CT perfusion is often wrong and tells the physician to not treat when in fact the patient should be treated. The major misconception among physicians that use CTP is that perfusion can tell you whether the tissue is dead. This is obviously wrong. CTP forecasts tissue viability but just like the weather, the reality is often very different. Numerous studies have demonstrated this. 

The simple imaging techniques are powerful for multiple reasons. First, because noncontrast CT images ischemic edema which is a sequelae of neuronal death, it can tell you with a high degree of confidence whether the brain tissue is dead. Second, CTA is an efficient means of identifying the location of the occlusion and whether the collaterals are futile. Third, these tools are low cost and available to any hospital. I believe as a field that we should be rooting for these simple, pragmatic imaging approaches if we are going to impact care around the world, particularly in less developed countries. Clearly, doing a noncontrast CT and CTA is much more feasible than doing advanced imaging like CT perfusion or MRI. Committing resources towards developing AI algorithms that are based on the simple, pragmatic imaging approaches I think is very important as they will help to standardize treatment delivery worldwide.

 

Nico.lab improves clinical practice with innovative and trusted AI. Our product StrokeViewer, is an AI-powered clinical decision support system, offering a complete assessment of relevant imaging biomarkers within 3 minutes.

Sales Representative

By | Job openings

Nico.lab is looking for a Sales Representative

Here at Nico.lab, we have a clear mission to improve the outcome of stroke, the leading cause of long-term disability in Europe. With our smart, young and ambitious team, we built and delivered cutting-edge AI algorithms in the cloud which are now helping clinicians with faster and better treatment decisions in many hospitals!
Radiologists and Neurologists are our customers, we’re looking for a passionate colleague who is able to build trust and formulate strong relationships to drive the growth of Nico.lab. Together with the customers you explore how we can improve their clinical workflow, making life easier whilst hugely impacting patient outcome.
You are able to drive the market share of Nico.lab by successfully closing contracts with hospitals primarily in the Netherlands. The majority of your time is spent with the customers evaluating their needs and winning new opportunities.

We’re ambitious with a clear mission – are you the one to help us make an enormous impact in acute healthcare?

The position

  • Build and maintain trusting relationships with clients, potential clients and KOLs whilst helping them adopt Artificial Intelligence in their workflow
  • Understand the needs and drivers of the customers and educate them on StrokeViewer
  • Drive profitable growth and close opportunities in targeted accounts whilst maintaining healthy sales pipeline and formulating accurate forecasting
  • Together with Business Development team formulate sales strategy and constantly evaluate and improve sales pitch
  • Frequent travel to customer sites

 

What we’re looking for

  • Bachelor or Master level degree ideally in the field of medical technology, or better yet, a medical education in the field of Radiology or Stroke
  • 3+ years of experience in healthcare related sales (preferably direct sales)
  • Excellent speaking, writing and presenting skills in both Dutch and English
  • Proven track record in on-target achievements
  • Excellent product and industry related knowledge
  • Strong understanding of key stakeholders and customer dynamics with clear communication skills and a proactive approach
  • Passionate and energetic personality

What we offer

  • A competitive salary
  • Daily, delicious team lunches
  • Pension contribution
  • 25 holiday days plus additional holiday pay
  • Travel expenses
  • Stimulating environment with a fun motivated team
  • Chance to make a real difference in patient’s lives!
Interested? Please send an email to Kate Backhouse at jobs@nico-lab.com

Nico.lab is selected for the Techleap.nl Rise Program

By | News, Press Release

AMSTERDAM, 28 MAY 2020

Nico.lab has been selected for Techleap.nl Rise program, the showcase for future unicorns

The Netherlands, under the Techleap.nl-program, has officially launched Techleap.nl Rise. With this ambitious programme, Techleap.nl and top entrepreneurs like Pieter van der Does (Adyen), Ali Niknam (bunq), Steven Schuurman (Elastic), Chris Hall (Bynder), Michiel Muller (Picnic) and Gillian Tans (Booking.com) are helping the most promising scale-ups in the Netherlands to grow faster internationally. Scale-ups participating in the first batch along with Nico.lab are: Easee, Floryn, LTO Network, Mapiq, Online Payment Platform, Polarsteps, Quicargo, Starred and Wizenoze.

As part of the programme, we will be put on the international map with corporates, investors and media. We are encouraged in groups of ten to fifteen participants to also learn from each other about the challenges of scaling up a company.  We will receive support and feedback from top Dutch entrepreneurs who share their own insights and lessons learned with the new batch of promising scale-ups. Every quarter Techleap.nl Rise will help a new group of entrepreneurs.

Merel Boers, CEO Nico.lab: ‘We are so thrilled to have been selected as one of the highest potential scale-ups in the Netherlands. We are looking forward to cooperating with the other talented entrepreneurs to learn and grow together, taking the Dutch tech world to the next level!’

Two unicorns a year, best ecosystem in Europe
The aim of Techleap.nl Rise is to support the emergence and development of world champions in the technology sector, to become less dependent on technological solutions from other countries and to create a climate in which two unicorns per year can ‘rise’. By 2023, Techleap.nl Rise wants to have supported 250 promising scale-ups. The insights from the program will also be shared to further improve the tech-ecosystem in the Netherlands and to define bottlenecks and solutions for the growth challenges of scale-ups.

Strict selection
The criteria to participate are strict: a scale-up qualifies for the program if they meet the following criteria: currently €10M+ is being raised in a funding round or they are preparing to raise it with their next round (which has probably already been funded €1-5M); an annual turnover in excess of €1 million; more than 10 FTEs employed; at least 50% annual growth and a clear understanding of the product/service and the market they serve. 

Constantijn van Oranje, Special Envoy Techleap.nl : “With Techleap.nl Rise we want to create more Dutch technology companies that can measure themselves against the best internationally. We have found the best entrepreneurs in the business willing to help our most promising scale-ups with honest hard and constructive feedback. By learning from each other’s experiences and connecting them to the right parties, we create an innovative climate in which the tech leaders of tomorrow can rise above themselves.” 

Gillian Tans, Chairwomen Booking.com : “The Techleap.nl Rise program allows me to give back the insights of my own scaleup journey with Booking.com to today’s most promising companies.”

Koen Droste, CEO Polarsteps: “Techleap.nl Rise is important to us because it paves the way for us to the international tech scene: from investors, to media and techtalent. We expect the program to have a real impact on the growth of our company through the connections we can make.” 

Read more about the selected scale-ups and the program here.

Nico.lab join forces with expert partners to fight Covid-19

By | News, Press Release

Nico.lab is proud to announce the establishment of the ICOVAI consortium; a collaboration between science, clinical and technology experts. We believe AI can relieve some of the overwhelming pressure on medical staff and together will develop a valuable not-for-profit solution. The goal of ICOVAI is to support medical staff during the crisis by developing and deploying an AI solution for triaging and risk stratification of COVID-19 patients.

We see an increasingly clear case for using chest CT scans to assess the severity of COVID-19 and the likelihood of patients requiring ICU care. We recognised that our understanding of the clinical workflow and experience in developing AI for CT coupled with that of consortium partners can be leveraged to increase the speed and accuracy of these assessments during this critical time. 

About ICOVAI:

  • ICOVAI is a not-for-profit initiative aiming to leverage experience and knowledge of consortium partners in  the fight against Covid-19. 
  • ICOVAI aims for fast development and implementation of an AI-powered solution to help healthcare professionals deal with assessing the severity of COVID-19.

Deployment at scale in clinical practice

Beyond development, ICOVAI is well-equipped to validate and deploy the AI solution at scale across hospitals in Europe, aiming for these key results: 

  • European adoption and safe use of AI in COVID-19 triaging and risk stratification 
  • Increase speed and accuracy in COVID-19 triaging and risk stratification 
  • Reduce workload in COVID-19 imaging workflow

The COVID-19 pandemic is endangering people and healthcare systems across the world. AI has the potential to guide rapid decisions on patient care, risk management and hospital planning. To make a contribution during this crisis, we need to act quickly and work together.

More info on ICOVAI here→ https://www.icovai.org/

WE NEED TO FIGHT COVID-19 TOGETHER.

10 Questions with….. Ivana Išgum

By | Expert Series, News

Ivana Išgum is the University Professor of AI and Medical Imaging at the Amsterdam University Medical Center.  Graduating in Mathematics from the University of Zagreb in 1999, Išgum became a PhD student in the Netherlands in 2001 at the Image Sciences Institute. Obtaining her PhD degree in 2007, titled ‘Computer-aided detection and quantification of arterial calcifications with CT,’ Ivana then worked at both Leiden University Medical Center and UMC Utrecht, before embarking upon her position at the AMC.

Why do you do what you do?

Growing up in Croatia, both my mother and father were engineers. I remember being taken to my father’s work as a little girl and finding the whole experience and atmosphere so exciting. I knew I wanted to follow in my parents’ footsteps. I  came to the Netherlands 20 years ago as part of my journey to pursue that goal and never left.

Studying mathematics was quite abstract for me. I think that math is everywhere around us but we’re often not aware of it. It is fulfilling for me to connect knowledge with something that is applicable and visible in everyday life. So, I wanted to do something medical.  I wanted to strive for an academic career and surround myself with inspiring people. Of course getting funding for the research we want to do can be a struggle, but ultimately my job comes with the capacity to work on what I wish to work on, there is such creative freedom.  

How has AI proved so transformative to medical imaging? 

It has been the appearance of deep learning and the ability of algorithms to now be able to learn from the data themselves that has boosted the field enormously. Whilst AI is everywhere and indeed everyone is excited about it, for some this may appear as ‘hype’, but I really try to avoid using the word ‘hype’.  It implies that after a few years AI will somehow go away. That’s not the case, I am convinced that AI is here to stay, it will develop further, and it will radically change the way we work. 

Unlike in other industries, in the field of medicine we seem to not be as far as we could be. The main reason for this is probably accessibility of data. AI requires large sets of data that represents different populations. Furthermore, responsible application of AI in clinic while adhering to privacy legislation and ethical standards is far from trivial.   We are actively researching these issues so that the medical field can benefit from current AI much more than it’s already doing.

In a broad sense, how can AI currently benefit healthcare systems? 

Current healthcare systems are not sustainable as they are. The number of medical experts is limited and AI can help relieve their burden. AI might save costs, but it will more likely allow for a more sustainable system and it will certainly enable expert healthcare to be brought to parts of the world where there is a shortage of expertise. 

Where does reservation around AI stem from, and how can it best be addressed? 

One of the fears of AI comes from the caution of un-transparent decision-making. There are big, important and needed conversations currently going on about this. As experts, we do have to look at causality and make sure we validate thoroughly. I think the general public have a fear of AI being depersonalised but I don’t think it necessarily is, or should be. 

Are mindsets becoming more confident in AI powered tools in clinical practice? How does that feel for you at the forefront of research?

More people are seeing the potential benefits of AI to the future of healthcare, and resistance is decreasing. But  people generally resist change, if you look back at history it’s always been the way. Five years ago, people were panicking that radiologists would be replaced, and therefore not trained and that we’d see the takeover of robots. Now that hasn’t happened and undoubtedly never will. The medical world moves slowly and AI brings added value to routine work that radiologists can partner with and check. Ultimately AI makes it faster, more reproducible and cheaper than clinicians doing it all themselves, and that creates impact. 

Physicians understand AI in medical care is here to stay and people want to ride the wave. It opens the door for so many opportunities and for us who have been in the field for a long time, it’s rewarding. 

Where are we currently in terms of the potential of AI being utilised in clinical practice and what are the key challenges when it comes to implementation? 

From a research perspective, you see that a lot is possible. I would say the technology to answer many questions is available. But if you look at the products, the diversity doesn’t match up. For example the number of AI powered radiology tools used on a large clinical scale, is not very many, if at all. So the translation from research to clinical practice is really important. Regulatory bodies such as the FDA for example, are changing their strategy quite considerably in order to keep up with regulations that enable these tools to come into use.

Careful implementation is crucial. We cannot make mistakes. It’s important to consider all aspects of AI application including associated ethical and legal issues.  We are working with an extremely powerful tool and sensitive data; there is a lot to be discovered. Whilst we want to utilise AI to find information which is important to be found, we do not want to generate investigations which are not needed. These are all issues that are fundamental as we explore the possibilities of translating research into clinical practice. 

What do you think are the main technical challenges related to applying AI to medical imaging in comparison to using AI in other fields?

Medical image data is large and high dimensional, often 4D and 5D. At the same time, there are small sets of labelled representative data to learn from and the labels are often noisy. This can be challenging for analysis. Furthermore, data is quite diverse regarding image acquisition protocols, variability in anatomy and pathology. Designing methods that are robust to all these is not straightforward.

After the introduction of deep learning, there was a boom of papers applying similar techniques to different domains. Has the rate of progress slowed down or are there new interesting challenges that (if solved) could represent a major milestone in the field of medical imaging processing?

I am not sure whether the rate has been slowing down. We see that methodological developments from one research domain are being adjusted for application in others, which is good. However, we also see enormous competition in publishing where outperforming previous work, even if very slightly, is expected. While improving on the performance is possibly important and relevant, I think it is even more important that these are reproducible and that we try to understand why some approaches work better than others. 

What’s next in terms of key medical areas to benefit from AI?

It’s such an exciting time, we’re at the tip of what’s possible. There are very many possible applications of AI in medicine.Not only analysis of medical images but  the merging of different types of information can be very impactful and could help deeper understanding greatly.

As a successful woman in the field of AI, you must get asked about gender dynamics a lot, do you feel this question is still useful? 

Absolutely, it’s an incredibly important but sensitive issue. I dislike when people say it’s not a problem or that it’s not a problem for me any more. That is just not true. Ultimately we do not have enough women in science. As a society we are educating women but missing out on benefiting from their talent. Why? It’s such a complicated myriad of things at play (such as PhD and PostDoc timing coinciding with starting families, judgement in the workplace, at home, in the school playground etc) that ultimately work together to prevent society not utilising the full capacity of experts trained in science. 

Diversity is key for benefiting science. Some people say we need to encourage women, I think it would be a start if we didn’t discourage them.

Nico.lab improves clinical practice with innovative and trusted AI. Our product StrokeViewer, is an AI-powered clinical decision support system, offering a complete assessment of relevant imaging biomarkers within 3 minutes. 

10 Questions with….. Wouter de Monyé

By | Expert Series, News

Dr. Wouter de Monyé is the Medical Director of Radiology at Spaarne Gasthuis. Having graduated from the University of Utrecht in 1996, de Monyé went on to carry out research at Leiden University Medical Center and trained as a radiologist at Leiden University Medical Center and Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

Why do you do what you do? 

My motto first and foremost is to make people better. It’s a broad ambition but importantly it’s not just patients, but people, I strive to better. That’s why I love to teach and train within the hospital. I want to help my fellow medical colleagues come to patient diagnoses faster and more efficiently. 

What was your first job?

Funnily enough, cleaning a hospital when I was 15 years old.  My mother was a nurse and set me up waxing those long corridors. As a child I wanted to be a pilot, but this soon developed into the desire to become a flying doctor. You need to become a doctor first and the aviation part comes later. In the process, I discovered that radiology was my calling. I built computers on the side for a bit of extra money during my studies, but soon had to give this up when I started my research at Leiden University. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

Becoming the Medical Director of my department. This has allowed me to influence systems and process and improve the circumstances we work in as doctors. At some point you think you’re doing your job and you’re being a professional, but ultimately it’s the same process time and time again. If you manage to get a helicopter view, you can see structural changes that could benefit not only one person, but a cohort of patients. I find being able to influence such change extremely rewarding. 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job? 

Getting the diagnosis right, particularly in acute situations. As a radiologist, you need to be able to ascertain what’s normal and abnormal and stick to it. But you also need to be able to know when to convey doubt. That’s the tricky part, especially when you don’t have time for a colleague to have a second look. Sometimes doctors put you on the spot – is it this or is it this? You find yourself having to give black or white answers in situations which are often pretty grey. 

Do you have any coping mechanisms for dealing with the stress of your profession?

That’s difficult to answer. I guess realising life can be over in the blink of an eyelid makes you focus on trying to build its most important elements,  like good relationships and friendships. 

Why is timely diagnosis so urgent in stroke?

The challenge to get things right is critical. Stroke is pretty common and its impact can be huge – everlasting, for the rest of a patient’s life. Quick diagnosis is key, but more and more research suggests even in cases with a larger diagnosis time interval, there is still benefit from intra-arterial thrombolysis. So having been proven in the Mr Clean trial that in acute situations this type of treatment option works, I think we’re now working towards expanding this approach to more patients. We’ll be seeing more situations whereby a possible clot has a chance to be treated in this novel way. I think the Mr Clean trial gets more relevant every year. 

Are there any challenges in the current stroke workflow? 

Getting the knowledge to the image, or the image to the knowledge. Doing the actual scans is no longer a problem. These days the CT scanners are able to produce high quality images in a very short amount of time. The challenge is interpretation. Those many images need to be analysed by an expert. Such professionals (ideally a neuroradiologist) are not always on call and a patient’s scan will often have to be interpreted by colleagues with less professional experience. 

Why is improving image sharing so vital? 

A waste of time is a waste of brain. If we can get an image to an expert as quickly as possible, that can be life altering for a patient. If a colleague needs help with interpretation, the current standard way of sharing images is difficult if you’re relying on your old fashioned Pacs system. You receive a call when you’re out and you have to go home, load up your computer, get the images up-  this can easily lose you 15 minutes which is absolutely critical. The shorter the door to needle time, the better the result. With StrokeViewer, I can immediately receive a patient’s CT scan on my mobile phone wherever I am. That saves time by enabling me to interpret the high quality images on the spot. It’s amazing and something I’ve never experienced with the regular Pacs system. Seamless image sharing makes everything so much easier. 

What are your thoughts on the added value of assisting image interpretation via artificial intelligence? 

 Assisting interpretation of CT images via artificial intelligence brings the bottom of quality up. It raises the bar.  If for whatever reason (timing, location etc.) a less experienced radiologist is interpreting the scans (which is common), AI can help him or her perform like an experienced radiologist. That’s something which is really becoming clear from Strokeviewer and is so helpful. As with any relationship, it takes time to build a relationship of complete trust. And similarly with any new technology, AI will need to prove itself in clinical practice. But we are currently seeing real life applications of artificial intelligence and it is amazing how fast my colleagues are beginning to rely and trust in it. It’s definitely going in the right direction.

How would you describe the current relationship between radiology and artificial intelligence? And how do you see this progressing? 

In radiology we’ve had digital images for quite a long time, more than 15 or 20 years. Even in the early stages there were various computer aided detection promises. But it’s only very recently, in the past 3 or 4 years, that deep learning and artificial intelligence, actually make possible what was promised all that time ago. I’ve worked with systems which have tried to do similar things but in a poor way. As with any relationship, it takes time to build a relationship of complete trust. And similarly with any new technology, AI will need to prove itself in clinical practice. But we are currently seeing real life applications of artificial intelligence and it is amazing how fast my colleagues are beginning to rely and trust in it. It’s definitely going in the right direction.

 

Nico.lab improves clinical practice with innovative and trusted AI. Our product StrokeViewer, is an AI-powered clinical decision support system, offering a complete assessment of relevant imaging biomarkers within 3 minutes.

 

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