I want to share some information about a promising new technology that can potentially speed critical treatment for strokes by quickly and precisely addressing severe blockages in major arteries caused by blood clots.

New Technology Looks Promising to Speed Up Diagnosis for Stroke Patients

Many stroke neurologists say this technology could break new ground in getting stroke patients the right treatment in a significantly more-timely fashion, lowering the number of stroke victims who become disabled because of slow response while trying to determine the severity of their clots.

How does it work? The technology uses computer algorithms to cross-reference a stroke patient’s brain scan with a vast database of scans from other victims, allowing a precise diagnosis in minutes. It can be done by less-experienced doctors in smaller hospitals or by paramedics in an ambulance using portable scanning devices. The results are sent to a specialist at a regional stroke treatment center to confirm the diagnosis.

Time matters greatly for victims of strokes, who can too often spend hours at a hospital waiting for a diagnosis of whether the right treatment is a clot-dissolving drug that works well for moderately ill stroke patients or urgent transport to a better-equipped stroke center for a procedure called a Thrombectomy, which has proven highly effective for those stroke patients with large clots blocking major arteries.

Erlanger Featured in WSJ Article About New Stroke Diagnostic Tool

You can read more about the technology from this May 14 article in the Wall Street Journal.

It cites activity at Erlanger in North Carolina treating 1,721 patients in 2017 with clot-based strokes, 180 of whom got thrombectomies. “Minutes make all the difference between recovery, disability or death,” the article reads.

According to the story, several hospitals are already planning to install Viz.ai technology in their facilities. The diagnostic software, which employs artificial intelligence, allows neurologists to see brain scans almost simultaneously and detect the severity of the blockage on average 7.3 minutes after the brain imaging takes place – compared to hours for conventional diagnostic procedures.

For more information on Viz.ai, view the WSJ article online or read the Food and Drug Administration release.

Patient-focused treatment, and an individualized approach to oncology means Dr. Norleena Gullett is not just treating cancer, she's treating the whole person.