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Crouse Health brings artificial intelligence to stroke care

By Eric Reinhardt

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Crouse Health says it has partnered with a firm called Viz.ai for its applied artificial-intelligence software that Crouse will use in its stroke care. Viz.ai has offices in California and Israel, per its website. (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Crouse Health announced it has partnered with Viz.ai to bring the first Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared, computer-aided triage system to upstate New York for use in its stroke care.

Viz.ai has offices in San Francisco, California and Tel Aviv, Israel. The firm focuses on using applied artificial-intelligence software in health care to “reduce time to treatment and improve patient outcomes,” per Crouse Health’s Thursday news release. Crouse didn’t release any terms of its agreement with Viz.ai.

When a patient is transported to the Crouse emergency room with a suspected stroke, staff takes CT scans “immediately” to “aid in an accurate” diagnosis. The cloud-based Viz.ai software analyzes the images automatically to detect a large vessel occlusion (LVO) stroke and then securely transmits those images to the appropriate Crouse personnel “in real time.”

“In most hospitals, the CT scan process typically takes 30 to 60 minutes,” Jameson Crumb, clinical director of Crouse Neuroscience Institute, said. “This software cuts that timeframe in half, allowing us to move that patient toward the best individualized treatment plan much quicker and in a more synchronized fashion.”

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. as well as a major cause of permanent disability, Crouse Health said. The key to effective diagnosis and treatment is “reducing the length of time” between onset of symptoms and medical intervention.

“Crouse Neurosciences continues its commitment to bring the latest and most advanced innovations to our region to benefit patients suffering an acute stroke,” Dr. Seth Kronenberg, COO and chief medical officer, said. “We are proud to bring transformational technologies, such as Viz.ai, to Central New York.”

Crouse said it is now one of 300 hospitals using the Viz.ai product nationwide and one of just four in New York using the applied artificial intelligence-based technology.

“Time is brain”

Public-health campaigns have been communicating for years that “time is brain,” Crouse Health noted.

When a stroke occurs, the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a portion of the brain is blocked. The average patient loses nearly two million brain cells for each minute a stroke is untreated. Dr. David Padalino, medical director for neurovascular surgery, said this deterioration is what contributes to disability or death.

However, if the stroke is identified early, several medical treatments and interventions are available to help slow down or even halt this process and allow the stressed brain to recover. Better outcomes have been shown to correlate with how quickly these treatments can be initiated, and every minute counts.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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