Brainomix has announced that it has been awarded the national tender in Hungary to deploy its artificial intelligence (AI) stroke imaging software across all stroke centres in the country as part of a National Institute for Health Development initiative to improve stroke care.
Awarded following a competitive process, the five-year programme is funded under the EU4Health programme and—according to a Brainomix press release—is the first time that a single stroke AI imaging platform will be deployed across an entire country.
This latest tender will build upon an earlier EU grant that had funded the installation of Brainomix’s flagship e-Stroke platform at 10 hospitals in and around the Hungarian city of Pécs. It will enable e-Stroke to be deployed across the remaining 28 stroke centres in Hungary’s national healthcare system, with the support of eRAD, who will be serving as a technological partner, the release adds.
E-Stroke is a collection of tools that use state-of-the-art AI algorithms to support doctors by providing real-time interpretation of brain scans to help guide treatment and transfer decisions for stroke patients, allowing more patients to be treated in the right place, at the right time.
The initiative to use AI to improve stroke care and patient outcomes for the benefit of all stroke patients in Hungary was driven by world-leading neuroscientist István Szikora (National Institute of Mental Health, Neurology and Neurosurgery [OMIII], Budapest, Hungary). OMIII will serve as the national stroke centre, with full oversight for the programme.
The Hungarian e-Stroke programme was unveiled at the start of the Hungarian Stroke Society XVI Congress and XIII Conference of the Hungarian Society of Neurosonology (1–3 September 2022, Siófok, Hungary).
Launching the programme, Szikora said: “Each year, more than 20,000 stroke patients are admitted to hospitals across Hungary. E-Stroke has been shown to enable faster treatment times, facilitating better patient outcomes, as experienced in single sites here in Hungary and reported in other countries including the UK and Poland.
“In our earlier experience with e-Stroke, we were particularly impressed by its comprehensive suite of imaging solutions, with the ability to be used in small general hospitals as well as large stroke centres. We are glad that, with the support of an EU grant (EFOP 5.2.6-20), this option now will be available in multiple stroke centres throughout the country.”
The e-Stroke platform will support both specialist and non-specialist clinicians to interpret stroke brain scans in real-time, and to identify patients who need urgent treatments or transfer to a specialist hospital. Using the e-Stroke mobile app, doctors can securely share brain scans with specialists at other hospitals, bringing expert decision making to all hospital emergency departments on a 24/7 basis, according to Brainomix.
The e-Stroke platform has been in use at Semmelweis University Hospital (Budapest, Hungary) for the past four years, where the primary stroke centre treats more than 700 stroke patients each year. Bence Gunda, an associate professor in the Department of Neurology at Semmelweis, has previously shown that treatment rates for stroke patients improved and treatment times were reduced following the installation of e-Stroke.
“Our results are indicative of the impact that Brainomix’s technology can have on a stroke network, helping physicians make faster decisions so that more patients can get the optimum treatment,” Gunda said. “E-Stroke facilitates the diagnosis of acute ischaemic stroke by quantifying the extent of ischaemic damage, indicating where there are occluded vessels and assessing the status of collateral circulation. The CT [computed tomography] perfusion module is very helpful in assessing the eligibility of late-time-window patients for thrombectomy.”
In addition to this full national tender for Hungary, e-Stroke has been adopted by other countries in Europe, including across Andalucía in Spain. Last year, Brainomix was awarded the national tender for 17 of Poland’s largest comprehensive stroke centres and, in 2020, the company also won a National Health Service (NHS) Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to deploy e-Stroke across a number of UK stroke networks and evaluate its impact on stroke care across NHS regions. Following its launch in 2015, e-Stroke is now used by more than 330 hospitals in 30 countries, the release states.