Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Samsung and MedyMatch bring AI to stroke diagnosis

Steve Rogerson
April 11, 2017



Samsung is using technology from Israeli company MedyMatch Technology to bring artificial intelligence (AI) to first responders.
 
The South Korean company’s US subsidiary Samsung NeuroLogica is integrating AI clinical decision support applications with its medical imaging hardware in the acute care marketplace. This collaboration will create support tools that provide a second read capability to help caregivers quickly and accurately assess patients in pre-hospital environments.
 
The first focus area will be in the enhancement of stroke assessment, specifically, with integration of MedyMatch’s AI technologies into the mobile stroke unit, a specialised ambulance or other emergency vehicle that is equipped with a Samsung NeuroLogica CereTom CT (computed tomography) scanner.
 
The mobile unit with diagnostic CT imaging capabilities is designed to help the team assess quickly whether a patient is having a stroke caused by a blood clot or haemorrhage. The first step in patient assessment is to rule out the presence of a brain bleed, and this is where MedyMatch’s technology will be used pending regulatory approval to provide decision support.
 
Since time lost is brain lost, rapid patient assessment will allow caregivers to move quickly down the most appropriate treatment path, potentially even while in transit to the hospital.
 
“We are on the threshold of the next evolutionary step in imaging,” said Gene Saragnese, CEO of MedyMatch, “Imaging technological development has been historically focused on providing clinicians the best possible image, optimising spatial and temporal resolution, coverage and dose; however, MedyMatch’s artificial intelligence applications will leap this paradigm forward, enabling imagers such as CT to provide clinical answers and not just images, creating the truly intelligent imaging machine to assist physicians every day.”
 
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted by a blockage or a rupture in an artery, depriving brain tissue of oxygen. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the USA and a leading cause of disability. According to the CDC, close to 800,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year. Most suffer ischemic stroke, which occurs when blood flow to the brain is obstructed by a clot in a blood vessel.
 
Fortunately, ischemic stroke can be treated effectively with a tissue plasminogen activator, a drug that if administered within three hours of the first signs of stroke dissolves a clot to improve blood flow back to the affected part of the brain. Unfortunately, it can take an hour after a stroke patient arrives in the emergency department to receive treatment because of the time needed to determine which kind of stroke the patient is having.
 
“Technology that can assist the physicians in recognising brain bleeds more quickly will lead to faster decision making for the patient and better outcomes,” said Peter Rasmussen, medical director of Cleveland Clinic’s distance health programme. “Emergency treatment is needed to recognise and treat brain bleeds as quickly as possible and is critical in ensuring minimal damage.”
 
MedyMatch uses cognitive analytics and AI to deliver real-time decision support tools to improve clinical outcomes in acute medical scenarios. The foundation of clinical discovery and value creation lies in the deep clinical understanding of how to use the right data such as electronic medical record, medical imaging and genomic data.
 
“This is just one example of how intelligent imaging can have a positive impact on a stroke or trauma patient and provide a whole new level of care by bringing AI to the kerbside,” said Robert Mehler, chief operating officer of MedyMatch. “MedyMatch envisions that medical imaging devices will be AI enabled with decision support to assist the physician in patient care, increase the speed in which patient assessment can be performed and optimise the clinical workflow.”
 
Samsung NeuroLogica develops, manufactures and markets imaging technologies and is also the US headquarters for sales, marketing and distribution of all Samsung digital radiography and ultrasound systems.
 
“Samsung is committed to bringing innovative technology to the marketplace to improve patient outcomes,” said Phillip Sullivan, president of Samsung NeuroLogica. “Our CereTom equipped mobile stroke units are at the forefront of that commitment. We are seeing worldwide demand and implementation of our mobile stroke units, with new installations in New York, Trenton, Chicago, Bangkok, Alberta, India and Germany. Our collaboration with MedyMatch is one more step forward in advanced technology to support better treatment of stroke.”
 
The portable x-ray and CT scan device market growth is expected to grow approximately 7.6 per cent CAGR to 2020, reaching $8.41bn.