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Using AI to Save Time, Money, and Kidneys
Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP --  The Herman Group Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP -- The Herman Group
Austin , TX
Wednesday, June 19, 2019


The Herman Trend Alert

June 19, 2019

Using AI to Save Time, Money, and Kidneys

This one is personal. Last weekend, my husband ended up at the local emergency room with what we were told was a "small stroke." The medical professionals wanted to do what is called a "high-contrast MRI" to assess the full damage. A high-contrast MRI involves the use of what are called high-contrast dyes---mostly inorganic---which tend to be rough on compromised kidneys. Due to my husband's kidney disease, the result of years of lithium use, we flatly said, "NO!" This Herman Trend Alert is about a technological breakthrough that will make the use of those high-contrast dyes a thing of the past, because now, "there's an ap for that."

Saving lives, time, and money

Intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), or in common language---brain bleed, is a devastating disease; it has a 30-day mortality rate ranging from 35 to 52 percent. Researchers estimate that about 50 percent of this mortality occurs within the first 24 hours; that is why early detection and effective treatment in the Emergency Department is so important. The global incidence of spontaneous ICH worldwide is 24.6 people in every 100,000. The financial impact of early detection in the US alone would be enormous, where strokes cost $34 billion annually, including the costs of healthcare, medications, and lost productivity

An AI solution for brain bleeds

What this software does is to take non-contrast head CT scans where doctors suspect intracranial hemorrhage (internal brain bleeds) and instantly determine the severity. This triaging significantly reduces turnaround time and increases the radiologists' confidence in their diagnosis. No kidney-damaging dyes needed here!

Not the company's first rodeo

Located at Kibbutz Shefayim in Israel, the company Zebra Medical Vision (Zebra-med.com) uses deep learning medical imaging analytics; two days ago, it received its third FDA clearance for its product, covering ICH based on head CT scans. This product could have saved my husband and me a day in the hospital and his insurance companies tens of thousands of dollars by diagnosing his medical event correctly in the CT scan---as Transient Global Amnesia (TGA), a totally benign, non-recurring, and not dangerous condition.

More about Zebra-med's platform

Zebra-med's Imaging Analytics Platform allows healthcare institutions to identify patients at risk of disease and offer improved, preventative treatment pathways to advance patient care. This platform is the first of its kind to provide alerts for both CT scans and X-rays, and currently tackles two acute conditions: brain bleeds (found on head CTs), and calcium scoring within the pneumothorax (found on chest X-rays).

More to come from Zebra-med and others

We are only scratching the surface of what will come in the applications of AI to diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of diseases. And hopefully, we at The Herman Trend Alert, will still be here to cover them for you!

Special thanks to Our Crowd, one of the funders of Zebra-med, for calling this breakthrough to our attention. For more information or a demo, visit Zebra-med.com.


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Joyce L. Gioia, CMC, CSP
Austin, TX