United Kingdom: A new study has found that artificial intelligence might predict if someone could have a heart attack up to 10 years in the future. Researchers at the University of Oxford remarked that the technology could save thousands of lives while improving treatment for almost half of patients.
The study, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), looked at how AI might improve the accuracy of cardiac CT scans, which are used to detect blockages or narrowing in the arteries.
Prof. Charalambos Antoniades, chair of cardiovascular medicine at the BHF and director of the acute multidisciplinary imaging and interventional center at Oxford, commented that “our study found that some patients presenting in hospital with chest pain, who are often reassured and sent back home, are at high risk of having a heart attack in the next decade, even in the absence of any sign of disease in their heart arteries.”
According to reports, about 350,000 people in the UK have a CT scan each year, but many patients later die of heart attacks due to their failure to pick up small, undetectable narrowings.
Researchers analyzed the data of more than 40,000 patients undergoing routine cardiac CT scans at eight UK hospitals, with a median follow-up time of 2.7 years.
The AI tool was tested on a further 3,393 patients over almost eight years and was able to accurately predict the risk of a heart attack. AI-generated risk scores were then presented to medics for 744 patients, with 45 percent having their treatment plans altered by medics as a result.
“We hope that this AI tool will soon be implemented across the NHS, helping prevent thousands of avoidable deaths from heart attacks every year in the UK,” Mr. Antoniades added.
The research team found that those whose results showed “significant” narrowing of the arteries were more likely to have a serious heart attack.
Prof. Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the BHF, remarked that the research “shows the valuable role AI-based technology can play in identifying those most at risk of future heart attacks.”