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AI revolutionises stroke care in Poland

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Stroke care is being revolutionised in Poland following the first national tender in Europe for Brainomix to deploy its AI stroke software. 

Each year more than 100,000 people will have a stroke in Poland, with some patients requiring specialist treatment in the form of mechanical thrombectomy – a procedure typically performed at a comprehensive stroke centre, in which a blood clot is surgically removed from the brain’s arteries to restore blood flow.

With a focus on expanding access to thrombectomy and improving stroke care overall, the Ministry of Health launched the POLKARD initiative, which included Europe’s first nationwide tender for AI stroke imaging. 

Brainomix, already in use in several NHS Trusts across England, were awarded this landmark opportunity, enabling the company to deploy its flagship e-Stroke software across nearly all of Poland’s largest comprehensive stroke centres, and solidifying its growing position in Europe.

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.

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Brainomix has ensured its software was quickly and seamlessly installed across each site. A series of remote training sessions were conducted to ensure that all key members of the stroke team were familiar with the software, fostering widespread clinical adoption. 

Dr Violetta Palacz-Duda, a ueurologist at Dr Jan Biziel’s University Hospital No. 2 in Bydgodzcz, a city in northern Poland, spoke about her experience with the AI software.

“We have had Brainomix software now for a year, and it has enabled us to efficiently identify patients eligible for both thrombectomy and thrombolysis,” she says. 

“e-Stroke facilitates the diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke by quantifying the extent of ischemic damage, indicating where there are occluded vessels and assessing the status of collateral circulation. The CT perfusion module is very helpful in assessing the eligibility of late-time-window patients for thrombectomy.”

Following the installation of e-Stroke, many Polish hospitals began to incorporate CT Perfusion into their stroke imaging protocol, as a way to assess late-presenting patients. 

Dr Piotr Luchowski, based at the Independent Public Clinical Hospital in Lublin, where he and his team perform more than 200 thrombectomies per year, says of this approach: “We routinely use Brainomix software to qualify for late-window endovascular treatment. We have also found great utility with the CT Perfusion module for patients in the standard therapeutic window, to flag stroke chameleons or stroke mimics. Thanks to the Brainomix software, we are significantly increasing the chance for proper, effective therapy.”

Dr Zoltán Chadaide, Brainomix business manager, Central Eastern Europe, spoke about the significance of the Polish national tender. 

“This opportunity to deploy our e-Stroke platform at a national level reflects the comprehensive value of our technology, which can deliver full network solutions, while also expanding patient access to life-saving treatments,” he says. 

“The project also enabled us to showcase our expertise to deploy software at scale, with best-in-class support and a commitment to fostering broad adoption. We look forward to our ongoing partnership in Poland, and will continue to focus on other regional and national-level opportunities.”

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