Tel Aviv-based start-up Aidoc, a leading provider of artificial-intelligence solutions for radiologists, has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for its AI solution that spots strokes (large-vessel occlusion) in the brain during head CTA scans.An LVO is the blockage of vessels in the brain. According to Ariella Shoham, Aidoc’s vice president of marketing, the AI technology “uses deep learning to automatically look at every head CT before a patient has even left the imaging room.” “It investigates the images to see if they show blocked blood vessels in the brain or bleeding [intracranial hemorrhages],” she said. “If one of these time-critical conditions is found, Aidoc re-prioritizes the work lists of radiologists so that the urgent scan is looked at immediately and the patient can be treated quickly.”Shoham said Aidoc already received FDA clearances to identify and flag pulmonary embolism (blockages in the lungs) and cervical spine fractures (broken neck).“Other Aidoc solutions currently in clinical testing include identifying air in the abdomen,” she said. “Altogether, Aidoc is targeting the most common, critical life-threatening conditions that make up 80% of all urgent cases on CT scans. These are the conditions where every minute counts and where moving a patient to the top of a radiologist’s work list can save a life.”The company said this was Aidoc’s fourth FDA-cleared AI package.“A stroke is the ultimate time-critical condition,” Dr. Marcel Maya, co-chair of the Department of Imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said in a statement. “The faster we can identify, diagnose and treat it, the better the outcome for patients.”Aidoc’s comprehensive stroke package flags both large vessel occlusion and hemorrhages inside our existing work flows, “ensuring we can diagnose stroke faster and decide on the best course of treatment,” he said.“We’re already seeing how this has a positive impact on department efficiency and patient length of stay,” Maya said.According to Aidoc, 5% of all deaths in the US are stroke-related, and it is one of the major causes of disability.“During a stroke, 1.9 million neurons and 14 billion synapses die each minute, making fast diagnosis and treatment critical,” it said.“Improved medical imaging and better treatments have revolutionized stroke care, making it possible to clear occlusions in the brain’s arteries using thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy; however, hemorrhage must be ruled out before administering a thrombolytic agent.“The faster the time from door to treatment for patients suffering from stroke, the more likely a patient will survive without serious neurological impairment,” Aidoc said.Aidoc’s technology is already in use in Sheba Medical Center and in more than 300 medical centers worldwide, including Yale New-Haven Health, University of Rochester Medical Center, Cedars-Sinai, Montefiore Nyack Hospital and at hospitals in South America, Europe and Australia, Shoham told The Jerusalem Post.Research performed by the University of Rochester Medical Center showed Aidoc’s ability to reduce turnaround time for emergency-room patients with intracranial hemorrhage by 36.6%. Research by Yale-New Haven Hospital also confirmed Aidoc’s impact in expediting the time to treatment for these critical cases.Shoham said Aidoc was founded in 2016 by Elad Walach, Michael Braginsky and Guy Reiner, three graduates of the IDF’s elite Talpiot program.“It’s was named as one of Time magazine’s 50 Genius Companies, and its founders were recognized in Forbes’s ‘30 under 30’ list,” she said. “In 2019, Aidoc’s pulmonary-embolism solution won the ‘Best New Radiology Software’ Minnie Award.”Shoham said the company works in five continents and has analyzed more than 3.2 million scans in clinical work flows.Well, Shoham said Aidoc’s plans for 2020 include “growing fast and expanding the number of hospitals using our AI solutions.“Aidoc’s focus so far has been on time-sensitive work, like flagging urgent conditions,” she said. “This year, we plan to expand to add time-saving solutions too, which can help radiologists complete routine tasks faster – tasks like measurement.”Shoham said this is especially relevant for oncology, “where tracking and measuring tumors or lesions can take radiologists a long time.”Aidoc chief medical officer Dr. Gal Yaniv, who is also an endovascular neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist at Sheba Medical Center, said with its fourth FDA clearance, Aidoc is leading the way in radiology AI with the most comprehensive FDA-cleared AI triage package.“I’m proud that Aidoc’s FDA-cleared AI solutions... are in full clinical use, saving lives in more than 300 medical centers across the world,” he said.