NHS tests AI-enabled software to make brain surgery safer

The NHS is testing an artificial intelligence (AI) solution that allows surgeons to test brain aneurysm procedures.

The British startup Oxford Heartbeat designed the PreSize technology, which has been used at Leeds Teaching Hospitals and will have to be tested in six other NHS trusts.

Medical device software helps plan neurovascular surgeries by predicting the behavior of a particular stent in a patient’s anatomy.

It automatically creates an accurate 3D model of the patient’s vessel tree and indicates where to start and end a stent in the vessel model, allowing the surgeon to select the best option from a library of all certified stents.

In a study based on more than 250 actual stenting procedures performed in seven hospitals, the tool had an accuracy rate of 96.75%.

NHSX and Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) support the new technology through the NHS AI Lab.


Brain aneurysms have complex mechanical structures and are usually a few millimeters in size, meaning they can behave unpredictably when inserted.

Until now, there was no consistent or precise way for doctors to choose the best stent for each patient.

Choosing the wrong stent can lead to detrimental outcomes for the patient, including strokes.

This technology can help surgeons plan the optimal stent to use, improving the safety of neurovascular surgery for patients and saving money for the NHS.


Meanwhile, Osso VR Virtual Reality (VR) Surgical Training Tool has recently launched a new multimodal assessment tool, which allows students and physicians to test their understanding of specific workflows and how to react if something it goes wrong during an operation.

British companies FundamentalVR and Touch Surgery have also created platforms that use VR to help surgeons practice their skills.


Professor Tufail Patankar, senior consultant in interventional neuroradiologist (INR), Leeds Teaching Hospitals and chief researcher of this study, said: “Especially complex, safer and faster.”

Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX, said: “Repairing brain aneurysms is a particularly delicate and high-risk procedure, but the use of this AI could provide our skilled surgical teams with an important additional tool that should lead for better results, fewer strokes and more complete recoveries. “

Said Dr Indra Joshi, director of NHSX’s NHS AI Lab: “Supporting clinicians to plan their surgeries, reduce stress during procedures and potentially improve patient outcomes are just three of the many potential benefits this technology could bring to the NHS.”

Professor Shafi Ahmed, CMO of Medical Realities, commented: “AI-based navigation tools will be essential to perform precise procedures in the future. This platform allowed the doctor to practice the technique in a simulated environment that should improve the precision and, ultimately, safety. I gladly accept these technologies that deliver better results for patients. “

Dr Katerina Spranger, Director General of Oxford Heartbeat, said: “We always put the needs of patients and the NHS first. Our technology will bring direct benefits to surgeons and patients, while improving standards of care delivery. attention ”.

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