AI for Acute Cardiac Care Trials Begin in Edinburgh

Emergency cardiac care visits benefit from AI-powered pathway

Helen Hwang, Contributor

February 2, 2023

2 Min Read
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At a Glance

  • AI model using data from Scottish patients aims to improve cardiac care
  • NHS Scotland is leveraging disease management platform from Lenus
  • Project is the latest NHS AI integration to improve care

A project aiming to use AI tools to improve cardiac care has begun in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The AI for Acute Cardiac Care project is being conducted by the National Health Service (NHS) health board alongside the University of Edinburgh, and Edinburgh Napier University. Also involved in the program is the health research group Wellcome Leap and digital platform provider Lenus Health.

“Harnessing data and artificial intelligence to support clinical decisions has enormous potential to improve care for patients and efficiency in our busy emergency departments,” said Dr. Nick Mills, British Heart Foundation professor of cardiology at the University of Edinburgh.

The program sees an AI-powered clinical dashboard showing real-time data that aids doctors in speedy patient exams. The output shows a likely diagnosis along with pathway options while weighing risk factors like the likelihood of a major cardiac event or reattendance.

Using the Lenus disease management platform, the team created a model with data from several sources, including DataLoch, which takes health and care data from patients in the NHS East region of Scotland. Developed at the University of Edinburgh, DataLoch can securely store and link real-time health care data from primary and secondary care settings. NHS Lothian in the eastern part of Scotland services the second-largest residential population in Scotland, caring for some 850,000 people.

“The Lenus disease management platform is rolled out across major health boards covering 68% of the Scottish population and is uniquely able to develop and deploy both in-house and third-party AI models,” said Paul McGinness, CEO of Lenus Health.

Each year, British emergency rooms experience approximately 7.5 million visits from patients who complain of severe breathlessness or chest pain. The patients need to be quickly examined for acute cardiac disease; however, the symptoms can sometimes present as benign health conditions.

“For patients with acute chest pain or breathlessness due to a heart attack or heart failure, early diagnosis and treatment saves lives. Unfortunately, many conditions cause these common symptoms, and the diagnosis is not always straightforward,” said Dr. Mills.

“Supporting frontline NHS staff and cardiac patients by delivering data and AI insights in the emergency department builds on the company’s ambition to reduce the acute care demands associated with long-term conditions that are currently overwhelming health systems through earlier and more efficient diagnoses of imprecise symptoms, such as chest pain and breathlessness,” added McGinness.

About the Author(s)

Helen Hwang

Contributor, AI Business

Helen Hwang is an award-winning journalist, author, and mechanical engineer. She writes about technology, health care, travel, and food. She's based in California.

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