Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

NNI and NTU collaborate to use machine learning for diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases

NNI and NTU collaborate to use machine learning for diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases

Photo credit: NTU

The National Neuroscience Institute (NNI[1]) and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) announced a collaboration to develop innovative technologies to better diagnose and treat patients with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and brain injuries.


The projects for the first year of fellowship include the development of artificial intelligence systems to accurately identify types of traumatic brain injuries from computed tomography (CT) scans and to precisely identify tissues during bran surgeries.

Using machine learning to diagnose intracranial haemorrhage

Traumatic brain injury, commonly known as head injury, is a leading cause of disabilities and deaths in adults below 40 years old in Singapore. Head injuries can occur after traffic accidents, falls, fights, sports and recreational injuries. Every week, the National Neuroscience Institute sees 20-30 patients with traumatic brain injuries being admitted.

CT brain scans are used to check for any intracranial haemorrhage or bleeding that occurs inside the skull, which could require surgery. The scans need to be interpreted quickly and accurately by trained doctors to ensure patients have the best outcomes, as delays of a few minutes can mean the difference between a good and a poor outcome.

The success of artificial intelligence computational algorithms in the field of decision-making in complex games, and in image classification tasks can potentially be translated into classifying radiological images, such as those from CT brain scans.

In this proposed study, a machine learning algorithm will be trained and applied to differentiate between CT images of different patterns of intracranial haemorrhage. The aim is to develop a rapid, accurate and automated process for reading CT brain scans to reduce the time needed to initiate treatment.

A machine learning approach to deep brain stimulation surgery

Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurological disorder that primarily affects a patient’s movement and ability to walk. It is also associated with mental health conditions such as depression and dementia. Three out of every 1,000 people aged 50 years and older have this disease.

Deep brain stimulation is a surgical procedure to implant a medical device in the brain. The device sends electrical impulses to specific targets in the brain, changing brain activity in a controlled manner and blocking abnormal nerve signals that cause symptoms such as tremors and movement difficulties. Deep brain stimulation has been performed routinely for suitable patients from the NNI.

For such procedures, a neurophysiologist uses electrodes to determine a target area in the brain. The neurosurgeon then implants the device in that location. This project aims to help doctors identify the location for the implant more precisely through machine learning.

From analysing large amounts of data transmitted by the electrodes, machine learning can discover patterns that were previously not apparent and determine more precisely, sections of the brain controlling critical functions such as movement.

Fostering collaboration between medical practitioners and engineers

This collaboration aims to groom multidisciplinary scientists, by providing students with first-hand exposure to various aspects of clinical medicine by interacting with neurosurgeons in the course of their work.

Over the next three years, the collaboration will foster closer working relations between medical practitioners and engineers through annual fellowships and student attachment programmes.

Managed by NTU’s Institute for Health Technologies (HealthTech NTU), the one-year fellowship programme will see up to two neurosurgical residents at NNI work full-time with NTU professors on campus. Each resident will receive S$100,000 to complete and commercialise their projects.

A student attachment programme that spans a few weeks will also be introduced, allowing NTU engineering students to work alongside neurosurgeons at NNI.

Associate Professor Ng Wai Hoe, Medical Director of the National Neuroscience Institute, said, “Innovation occurs at intersections of disciplines, knowledge and expertise. Doctors have a deep understanding of clinical needs from their everyday interactions with patients. Our unique collaboration brings these medical needs to engineering laboratories – an environment where imagination is encouraged in the form of technological advances and capabilities.”

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Chief of Staff and Vice President for Research, said, “This collaboration creates a unique multidisciplinary research environment by integrating healthcare with both medical and engineering expertise from NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and College of Engineering. This will not only nurture next-generation doctors armed with a multidisciplinary skillset to meet Singapore’s healthcare needs, but also enhance medical technologies to diagnose and treat neurological conditions more effectively.”

[1]NNI is the national specialist centre and regional centre for clinical referrals  for the management and treatment of the neurosciences, as well as for education and research conducted in the field.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.