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Artificial intelligence for stroke has been first implemented in Vietnam


The recent breakthrough turning point of the Vietnamese healthcare system is "expanding the golden hours after stroke onset up to 24 hours from 6 hours. The fact is achieved thanks to the application of RAPID artificial intelligence system in stroke diagnosis and treatment. Phu Tho Provincial General Hospital is the pioneering facility deploying this application in Vietnam.

Doctors in Stroke Center interpret the radiological results with RAPID.

The most common stroke type is an ischemic cerebral stroke, which occurs when blood supply to a part of the brain is suddenly stopped. Currently, the most common goal of treatment is to revise the blood flow as soon as possible:

Recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rTPA) for patients who come to the hospital early in the golden hours (less than 4.5 hours after stroke onset) and remove the blood clots with mechanical devices (less than 6 hours after stroke). However, these methods show a huge disadvantage, time.

"Stroke Center - Phu Tho Provincial General Hospital receives about 250 stroke cases per month. Among them, only 5% of patients are taken to the hospital by emergency service during the golden hours, about 4 - 6 hours after the onset of stroke symptoms. The remaining 95% of cases come when it is too late and what doctors can do is to try to save as many brain cells as possible.

But with RAPID, it is possible to extend  "golden hours" up to 24 hours which is more than 18 hours longer than before. Brain MRI images are uploaded to the system of RAPID and help doctors identify damaged areas of the brain precisely and quickly. Doctors can also see brain tissues that will die in the next hours, which used to be so difficult to identify by conventional imaging methods. Since then, doctors can give more appropriate treatment directions ”, Doctor Nguyen Quang An, Director of Stroke Center said.

RAPID which was developed by Stanford University, USA, is popular worldwide with 1,200 hospitals installed in 40 countries. According to data published in many countries around the world, every 100 cases with the support of RAPID, there can be 49 cases successfully treated. However, without the software, only 19 cases show successful treatments.

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Thong visited patients at Stroke Center – Phu Tho Provincial General Hospital

According to Prof. Dr. Nguyen Van Thong - Chairman of Vietnam Stroke Association, the number of people suffering from strokes is constantly increasing with about 200,000 new cases every year and 90% of them suffers from stroke sequelae. More dangerously, patients might face the risk of recurrent strokes with high mortality. The disease can happen at all ages and all people. Remarkably, stroke tends to be increasingly rejuvenated and there are cases of 18-20 years old clients.

Doctor Tran Quang Luc - Head of Diagnostic Imaging Department performed CT scan and interpret the results with RAPID

Since June 18th, 2019, there have been around 100 stroke cases having support from RAPID in Phu Tho Provincial General Hospital. Right after CT and MRI images are ready, radiologists will read the results with RAPID and decide whether to use high technology to reform the blood flow, break the blood clots, support lesion recovery and minimalize all consequences of stroke. With cases of a brain hemorrhage, the software can measure hematoma volume, from then, doctors can give better prognostic and improve the treatment effectiveness.

Quang Huy

Translator: Phuongletb

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