Artificial Intelligence could Help Tackle Coronary Heart Disease

Scientist from King’s College London believe that Artificial Intelligence could hold the key to identifying the best way to treat the country’s biggest killer, coronary heart disease (CHD). And now the team has secured close to £250,000 from by national charity Heart Research UK to pursue the test, that if successful would be less invasive, faster and more cost-effective than existing procedures.

Lead scientist Dr Jack Lee and his King’s College London team have been awarded a Novel and Emerging Technologies (NET) Grant by Heart Research UK to develop a type of advanced computing technique which will learn to identify patterns from blood flow simulations in thousands of coronary arteries.

Called 'deep learning', the computing algorithm will make a pressure-based assessment of coronary artery narrowings safer, quicker and easier than at present

When a patient is admitted to a catheter lab for treatment for CHD, doctors must decide whether the artery should be reopened physically with a stent or, in less severe cases, treated with medication.

There is much evidence that measuring the pressure drop across the coronary artery narrowing is a highly accurate way of deciding the best treatment. The test involves inserting a wire into the coronary artery which has a sensor to measure pressure.

However, the majority of catheter labs in the UK do not currently measure pressure routinely due to the risk to patients, and the extra time and cost of the procedure.

Coronary angiography is the conventional method for looking at the coronary arteries and involves taking x-ray images of the blood vessels. This information can be combined with a computer model of blood flow to estimate the pressure drop, without carrying out invasive measurements on patients. There are already accurate methods to simulate the blood flow through blood vessels but they are time-consuming and require special training to perform.

In an alternative approach, Dr Lee's project will use an advanced computing algorithm known as 'deep learning'. This is a type of artificial intelligence technique which will identify patterns from blood flow simulations in thousands of coronary arteries, so the computer ‘learns’ how the geometry of the narrowings affects the pressure pattern.

In turn, this information may allow the pressure drop across the coronary artery narrowing to be calculated directly and in real-time from the angiography images. The team will then test the new method on real patient data to demonstrate its clinical usefulness.

Dr Lee said: "The successful outcome of this research may help doctors decide on the best treatment for CHD using a test with reduced risk and less discomfort for patients. A fast and automatic method may also lead to shorter waiting times and cost savings for the NHS."

Barbara Harpham, Chief Executive at Heart Research UK, said: "CHD, where the coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material, is the leading cause of death in the UK.

"This exciting project at King’s College London will use the most advanced computing methods to develop a new test with the aim of benefiting patients with CHD as soon as possible. We look forward to supporting Dr Lee and his team and seeing the results of this pioneering medical research."

Heart Research UK's NET Grants are for research projects which focus on the development of new and innovative technologies to diagnose, treat and prevent heart disease and related conditions. They have given out NET Grants since 2006, awarding £2,657,041 in total.

Most Popular Now

Top 20 Breaking eHealth News of 2018

eHealthNews.eu proudly presents the top 20 most popular breaking eHealth news from 2018. Have a wonderful 2019 New(s) Year filled with health, happiness, and spectacular success!

Artificial Intelligence Advances Threate…

Advances in artificial intelligence have created new threats to the privacy of people's health data, a new University of California, Berkeley, study shows. Led by UC Berkeley engineer Anil Aswani...

Shaping Cloud Selects Highland Marketing…

Public sector cloud transformation specialists Shaping Cloud have chosen Highland Marketing as their marketing and PR partner to help them deliver their growth ambitions in the burgeoning health and care...

Artificial Intelligence System Learns to…

A team of investigators from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Radiology has developed a system using artificial intelligence to quickly diagnose and classify brain hemorrhages and to provide...

Rewired Pitchfest Launched to Showcase B…

Digital health innovators and start-ups are invited to pitch their disruptive ideas and prototypes to NHS digital leaders and leading healthtech investors at the new Digital Health Rewired event next...

Allscripts Joins with Microsoft to Explo…

Today, Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX), a global leader in health care information technology, announced a collaboration with Microsoft focused on implementing an innovative, integrated model for clinical research, aiming to enhance clinical...

Merck Welcomes Ten New Startups to its I…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the ten startups that will be joining the seventh intake of its Accelerator program at the Merck Innovation Center in Darmstadt...

First Smartphone App to Detect Opioid Ov…

At least 115 people die every day in the U.S. after overdosing on opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. And in 2016, illegal injectable opioids became the...

Stanford Researchers Create a Wireless, …

A new device developed by Stanford University researchers could make it easier for doctors to monitor the success of blood vessel surgery. The sensor, detailed in a paper published Jan...

AI Approach Outperformed Human Experts i…

A research team led by investigators from the National Institutes of Health and Global Good has developed a computer algorithm that can analyze digital images of a woman's cervix and...

Digital Health Consultancy Invests in Cy…

Digital health consultancy Populo Consulting has secured Cyber Essentials Plus certification, in a move that demonstrates its commitment to operating to the same high standards as its NHS clients. Cyber Essentials...