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Good Sam Harnesses the Power of Artificial Intelligence to Advance Stroke Care

May 24, 2021
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Rapid AI

The Stroke and Brain Aneurysm Center of Long Island at Good Samaritan Hospital has become the first in Suffolk County to incorporate advanced artificial intelligence (AI) technology into the evaluation of suspected stroke patients. The RapidAI imaging system cuts precious lifesaving minutes from the diagnostic process and provides the Stroke Team with essential information to swiftly make treatment decisions and launch interventions designed to save brain tissue.

When the triage team in Good Samaritan’s Emergency Department suspects that a patient is having a stroke, they immediately perform computed tomography (CT) perfusion imaging, a sophisticated test that shows blood flow within the brain and differentiates between viable brain tissue and damaged tissue. It also shows whether the patient is having an ischemic stroke, caused by a blockage, or a hemorrhagic stroke characterized by bleeding in the brain.

The Stroke Team uses this information to determine the most effective treatment option. Because brain tissue that is starved of blood due to a clot or bleeding may suffer permanent damage, every moment is critical in processing the information from this diagnostic exam.

RapidAI uses artificial intelligence to analyze the test results and determine whether the patient may benefit from surgical clot removal or treatment with thrombolytics (clot-busting medications). At the same time, the system automatically activates the Stroke Team via an app on team members’ smartphones. Through the app, team members receive de-identified information including diagnostic images and other clinical data so that they are fully prepared to mount the appropriate intervention as soon as possible.

“We are the only place in Suffolk to harness the power of artificial intelligence to treat stroke,” said Kimon Bekelis, MD, Director of the Stroke & Brain Aneurysm Center of Long Island and Chairman of Neuro-Interventional Services at Catholic Health.

Prior to this, CT perfusion test results would be manually transmitted to Dr. Bekelis, who would review the data and then alert the Stroke Team.

“With RapidAI, we easily save an average of 10 – 20 minutes per patient,” said Dr. Bekelis. “And that is vital, because every second counts when it comes to stroke.”

Dr. Bekelis emphasized that he still reviews the imaging studies and makes the final treatment decisions. RapidAI speeds up the process and has already demonstrated a positive impact on the outcomes for the more than 50 stroke patients seen at Good Sam since the system was implemented as a pilot project one month ago. Based on these results, the Center formally launched the RapidAI system as part of its protocol beginning in late May.

The Stroke and Brain Aneurysm Center is the only comprehensive stroke center on the south shore of Long Island. Its Stroke Team includes neurosurgeons, neuro-intensivists, neurologists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses with extensive training in neurological critical care. They treat the most complex stroke cases using advanced imaging equipment as well as minimally invasive stroke surgery which has been shown to improve survival and reduce the risk of long-term disability.

For additional information, visit goodsamaritan.chsli.org, strokecarelongisland.com or call 631-376-4444.

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