Automated Stroke Test from Oxford to Save Lives and Costs
Source: Isis Innovation
The latest Oxford spin-out puts the expertise of a stroke assessment team into the hands of any doctor in an emergency department. There is only a four and a half hour window from the time which a stroke occurs when a clot busting thrombolytic treatment can be given. Quick, expert assessment and successful treatment of stroke patients saves an average of £10,000 per patient per year and gives the patient a fuller life. In Europe, there were 1.3 million stroke deaths last year. With 1.2 million stroke patients every year in the UK alone, the new system has the potential to increase the number of patients treated, save lives and improve patient recovery.
e-ASPECTS automates the Alberta Stroke Program Early CT Score (ASPECTS) pioneered by Alastair Buchan, Professor of Stroke Medicine and Head of the Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford. Over the last 12 years ASPECTS has been adopted worldwide. The original ASPECTS system relies on a scoring system to assess CT (X-ray computed tomography) scans but requires a stroke expert to gauge the images. The automated e-ASPECTS encapsulates the expertise of Prof. Buchan and his team in software that processes CT images. The software gives a score that can be used by any doctor to assist in deciding on an intervention where there is only a four and a half hour window for treatment from the onset of the stroke. e-ASPECTS is from a new start-up coming out of Isis Innovation, the technology transfer arm of the University of Oxford and was developed with the support of the National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre.
Prof. Buchan said: “ASPECTS offers reliability and utility with a reproducible, quantitative-grading system to assess early ischemic changes.”
He initially developed ASPECTS to enable objective stroke assessment using CT scanning instead of using the more expensive, time consuming and less accessible magnetic resonance imaging. ASPECTS has since been proven as an excellent tool for the prediction of stroke outcomes. “By automating the scoring system, e-ASPECTS will achieve better patient selection for stroke intervention and a higher chance of recovering the patient’s physical and mental function – thus ultimately improving quality of life.“
“We anticipate that the duration of hospital stay can be significantly reduced, saving hospital costs, since patients with severe strokes tend to require several months or rehabilitation, if untreated. In addition, the need for long-term institutional care can be reduced leading to further cost savings.”
Tom Hockaday, the Managing Director of Isis Innovation, said: “e-ASPECTS is an important step forward in telemedicine and facilitating acute stroke treatment. The expertise of years of stroke medicine at Oxford is now available in a form that can save lives across the world. For e-ASPECTS to be launched after only six months of Isis support demonstrates the powerful potential of the Isis Software Incubator.”
The start-up, Brainomix Limited is led by Managing Director, Dr Michalis Papadakis, along with co-founders Prof. Iris Grunwald and Prof. Buchan. Dr Papadakis said: “Time is brain. The software will automate a fast and reliable assessment of patient eligibility for life saving clot busting treatment (thrombolysis). Currently, only 7% of patients actually receive it. We look forward to rolling out e-ASPECTS and realising the benefits of the system globally.”