Future NHS Award goes to an AI-based tool for heart disease

Future NHS Award goes to an AI-based tool for heart disease

A digital tool created by NHS researchers to expedite the diagnosis of heart disease has been honored with the Future NHS Award, recognizing exceptional contributions from the healthcare workforce.

Developed by doctors and scientists from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and the University of Sheffield’s Insigneo Institute, this tool utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to assess a patient’s heart function and identify heart tissue damage within seconds using MRI scans.

The tool employs an algorithm that automatically detects heart function by analyzing over 180 images extracted from an MRI scan, eliminating the need for manual analysis.

Clive Betts, Sheffield MP and nominee for the NHS Parliamentary Award, referred to the tool as a potential “game changer” in the future of heart disease care, expediting diagnosis, treatment, and patient care.

In addition to assessing heart function, the AI tool can monitor pressure changes occurring throughout the cardiac cycle, providing detailed insights into blood flow in and out of the heart. This enables clinicians to identify disruptions in heart function with a level of detail previously unavailable.

Betts said the technology β€œis already leading to more speedy identification of problems and is therefore reducing waiting times for treatment.”

The team behind this AI innovation includes Professor Wendy Tindale OBE, Director of Scientific and Innovation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, Dr. Kavitasagary Karunasaagarar, Consultant Radiologist, Dr. Andrew Swift, Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologist, Dr. Pete Metherall, Clinical Scientist, and Michael Sharkey, Senior Research Scientist in AI at the University of Sheffield.

β€œThe fully automatic cardiac MRI segmentation analysis has already made significant strides in improving both the efficiency and precision of cardiac MRI analysis. This distinguished recognition underlines the commitment our team has shown in revolutionizing healthcare through technological innovations.”

– Dr Karunasaagarar

Other winners of the NHS Parliamentary Award include an integrated frailty service in Warwickshire that eases pressure on hospitals, a reproductive trauma service in Lancashire and South Cumbria supporting pregnant women with mental health challenges, and a prostate self-referral service in Southampton, established to increase prostate cancer referrals following the pandemic.

β€œIt is thanks to the doctors and nurses, the porters and the cleaners, social care workers, physiotherapists, ambulance crews – and everyone else – that the NHS continues to be our national treasure. So much has been achieved within healthcare over the past 75 years, and they are helping to build a stronger, healthier service for the long term.

– Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay at the awards ceremony

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