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AI to improve detection and monitoring of brain aneurysm

A new research collaboration focused on developing a solution that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to detect and monitor brain aneurysms on scans faster and more efficiently was recently announced.

As reported, Australia’s Macquarie University will work with an ICT company, a medical tech company, and a medical imaging company to improve brain aneurysm diagnoses.

The project has already received a Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grant of AU$ 2.1M from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

About the project

Brain aneurysms are a common disorder caused by a weakness in the wall of a brain artery. Aneurysms are present in between 2% and 8% of adults, with multiple aneurysms in more than 10% of these people.

Rupture of an aneurysm causes brain haemorrhage in 85% of the cases, leading to death in 30%-40% of people and 20% permanent disability in those who survive.

The ICT company will lead the initiative and leverage its AI and digital solutions capability through its dedicated innovation team in Australia.

The medical tech company will contribute through its leading medical imaging technology.

Macquarie University and the medical imaging company will provide clinical expertise for the development and testing of the technology.

Initially the project will focus on refining the technology with a view to creating a fully commercialised solution, which will be distributed initially through radiology practices in Australia and eventually on a worldwide basis.

Utilising AI

AI has the capability to make daily lives more comfortable and contribute to solving difficult problems such as detecting serious medical issues early and allowing more timely treatment intervention.

The consequences of brain aneurysm rupture are often fatal, effective and expedient detection is crucial.

Unfortunately, screening and monitoring takes time and specialist expertise not afforded by every radiology practice.

The application of AI can give doctors better insights more quickly and produce fewer variable results.

Even in ideal circumstances, detecting brain aneurysms is time and expertise intensive and missed aneurysms can have terrible outcomes.

By creating an AI assistant to automatically flag potential aneurysms and allow for accurate follow-up, a huge difference can be made to patient care.

How it will work

As part of the project, AI methods will be applied to images of the brain and use a specifically-trained algorithm to look for abnormalities and aneurysms.

Outcomes from this project are anticipated to include the development and validation of an AI algorithm capable of highlighting blood vessels within the circle of Willis.

Willis is an arterial ring sited at the base of the brain that may have one or more aneurysms.

This technology will also allow the tracking of identified aneurysms over time.

This will provide radiologists with a valuable diagnostic support tool and patients with greater peace of mind that known aneurysms are being effectively monitored over the long term.

A second element to the project will include a planning tool for surgical (stent) intervention. This tool will use fluid dynamic modelling to predict the risk of aneurysm rupture.

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