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Prof. Dr. István Szikora – Press conference in October on the national stroke imaging network

October 21, 2022
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When every minute counts – for the first time in Europe, artificial intelligence comes to the aid of stroke patients in stroke centres across the country

Led by the National Institute of Mental Health, Neurology and Neurosurgery (OMIII), the tender “Development of an Artificial Intelligence-based central decision support system for the improvement of the domestic acute stroke care system” will be implemented, introducing a new method not yet widespread in the domestic public health care system. The innovative development will accelerate the emergency treatment of acute stroke patients and support the improvement of access to care nationwide. The project is being implemented with a support of HUF 1.286 billion in non-reimbursable EU funding under the Széchenyi 2020 programme.

In the case of intracranial vessel occlusion, the risk of irreversible brain damage increases rapidly from the moment of occlusion, and the chance of survival to an independent life decreases by the minute. It is therefore critically important that the appropriate therapeutic decision is made as quickly and accurately as possible, especially in the case of a pituitary occlusion, where the patient must be transferred immediately to one of the centres that can treat such cases.

The aim of the new procedure is to transfer the results of an imaging scan (skull CT) of a patient urgently admitted to any stroke centre in the country with suspected stroke to a central server in the cloud via a Hungarian-developed eRAD teleradiology network, where the results will be immediately evaluated by artificial intelligence (AI) software. After the evaluation, the software automatically sends the processed images highlighting the lesions and the quantified parameters critical for therapeutic decisions back to the institution that performed the scan and to the receiving care centre where the patient will be transferred for specialised care if necessary.

“Currently, therapeutic decision-making can take 60 to 80 minutes with radiological imaging, consultation between the admitting and receiving institutions and image transfer via conventional means. This time can be shortened to 15-20 minutes with the new procedure,” points out Dr. med. habil. István Szikora, head of the project and the OMIII’s Chief Medical Officer.

The system also ensures online communication via internet connection between the staff on duty at the primary admitting facility and the staff on duty at the receiving facility in case of transfer. All data transfers are in compliance with the GDPR data protection requirements and both the assessment software and the eRAD teleradiology system have European (CE) and US (FDA) marketing authorisations for the above applications.

“Artificial intelligence software is bringing a new approach to modern medicine, especially in the fields of prevention and screening. We are proud that Hungary is the first country in the world to deploy a nationwide stroke prevention software,” said neurologist Dr. Zoltán Chadaide, Director for Central Europe of Brainomix, a software development company.

Since 1999, an easier transfer of large images was made possible by eRAD, a teleradiology platform developed in Hungary.

“In the field of teleradiology, we have succeeded in developing a software that does not send back to the submitting hospital the entire series of nearly 400 images, but only the 40 images needed for Brainomix to process, reducing network congestion by 90%, and the transmission runs on a secure 2048-bit key-encrypted line,” added Gárbor Liget, eRAD’s Technical Director.

The project is being implemented within the framework of call for tender no. EFOP-5.2.6-2020-00004, entitled Transnational and Innovative Developments of National Institutes at OMIII’s central unit at 1145 Budapest Amerikai út 57, as well as in 27 other stroke centres in the country between 2022 and 2027.

OMIII is one of Europe’s five busiest acute stroke intervention centres, serving nearly half of all stroke patients requiring intervention in Hungary. The institute is a sought-after international training centre for minimally invasive treatment of cerebrovascular diseases: beyond our borders, medical students from Transylvania, Greece, the Middle East and the Far East come to OMIII for stroke intervention training.

For more information about the project, please visit http://omiii.hu/dokumentumtar/palyazat.html . 

For further information, please contact:

DI POL Irén Press Officer – E-mail: liza@erad-bb.com



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