MedyMatch, Samsung add artificial intelligence to stroke diagnosis in ambulances

Image on MedyMatch brain bleed decision support tool highlighting multiple areas on a patient scan where there might be bleeding
MedyMatch's tool helps ambulance teams to quickly confirm or rule out bleeding in the brain and administer the appropriate treatment. (MedyMatch)

In its second partnership unveiled this month, MedyMatch has inked a deal to integrate its artificial intelligence-based decision-support technology with Samsung’s medical imaging machines in prehospital settings.

The pair will concentrate first on improving stroke assessment in mobile stroke units—emergency vehicles equipped with diagnostic CT imaging—that use a Samsung NeuroLogica CereTom CT scanner, MedyMatch said in a statement.

The earlier an ischemic stroke, caused by a blood clot blocking an artery, is caught and treated, the better. But it can take an hour after a patient arrives in the emergency department to determine what kind of stroke he or she has, MedyMatch said. Quickly determining if the patient has an ischemic stroke or a hemorrhagic stroke—caused by the rupture of a blood vessel leading to bleeding in the brain—is key.

“Technology that can assist the physicians in recognizing brain bleeds more quickly, will lead to faster decision making for the patient and better outcomes,” said Peter Rasmussen, M.D., medical director of Cleveland Clinic’s Distance Health Program, in the statement. “Emergency treatment is needed to recognize and treat brain bleeds as quickly as possible and is critical in ensuring minimal damage.”

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MedyMatch’s artificial intelligence-based solution is designed to help physicians identify regions in the brain where there could be bleeding. When a patient undergoes a head CT scan, it is sent through the cloud to a processor, where MedyMatch’s platform uses deep learning, patient data and clinical insights to signal where there may be bleeding, said CEO Gene Saragnese in a previous interview.

The tech can be used to differentiate between ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes and could help ambulance teams quickly rule out bleeding in the brain and administer a drug that will dissolve the clot behind an ischemic stroke—all potentially en route to the hospital. The company hopes to gain FDA approval and a CE mark by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said.

“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 “A.I. to the curbside”, said Robert Mehler, MedyMatch's chief operating officer, in the statement. “MedyMatch envisions that medical imaging devices will be A.I.-enabled with decision support to assist the physician in patient care, increase the speed in which patient assessment can be performed and optimize the clinical workflow."

Earlier this month, MedyMatch teamed up with IBM Watson to integrate its decision-support applications into IBM Watson Health Imaging’s offerings. Under the agreement, IBM Watson will distribute the brain bleed detection tool through its established sales channels. And last summer, the company partnered with New Jersey-based Capital Health to apply artificial intelligence to the analysis of stroke patients' medical images.