Maria Middelares Radiology Department uses artificial intelligence to track critical cases faster

Since early March 2019, the Radiology Department at Maria Middelares General Hospital has been using artificial intelligence (AI) as part of its daily operations. These AI applications will assist in tracing life-threatening diseases more quickly in CT scans, specifically those of the head and neck. Maria Middelares General Hospital is the first general, non-university hospital in Europe to purchase a deep learning application for its Radiology Department. This decision represents an important step in the use of AI to improve patient care.

Although Belgium has no shortage of radiologists and the average processing time per patient is short (less than 30 minutes), the Radiology Department has opted to minimise the time needed for analysis further, enabling them to raise the alarm even sooner.

The department will make use of the neuroradiology algorithm of Aidoc. The application received a CE mark and is currently being used to identify two critical conditions: intracranial hyperdensities (e.g. cranial bleeds) and cervical fractures (a ‘broken neck’). Both conditions are life-threatening and must be treated immediately. This application will be seamlessly integrated in the Agfa-PACS equipment in the hospital.

The AI solution automatically analyses the scans as soon as they are taken and flags the most critical cases immediately. The work schedule of the radiologist will be adjusted so that they always see these cases first for diagnosis and treatment. By further reducing the waiting times for these patients and accelerating the diagnosis of these two serious conditions, Maria Middelares General Hospital has improved patient care still more.

‘Thanks to this AI solution, we can achieve the fastest detection possible, which enables us to raise the alarm more quickly and guarantee the patient the best possible chance of a positive outcome’, explains radiologist Christophe Schoofs.

‘At Maria Middelares General Hospital, we want the best and most advanced care for our patients’, adds Medical Director Ronny Goethals. ‘The use of the Aidoc AI solution will ensure that critically ill patients will be treated even sooner by our expert radiologists, with AI helping to schedule their work better.

‘We are gratified that an increasing number of patients will have access to the benefits of AI’, says Aidoc co-founder and CEO Elad Walach. ‘We are delighted to cooperate with the innovative and high-tech Maria Middelares General Hospital to further optimise their diagnosis and treatment of critical CT results.’