Researchers from Great Britain have developed an artificial intelligence that could protect thousands of people from heart problems in the long term. The background to this is a new system that is intended to identify patients at risk.

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has found its way into many areas. In addition to the private use of tools such as ChatGPT, more and more companies are also using AI. A recent example from Great Britain shows the extent to which artificial intelligence could save lives. A new system is designed to identify people who are likely to suffer a heart attack in the next ten years.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) is currently evaluating whether artificial intelligence should soon be available as standard for British citizens. Experts expect a decision by the end of the year.

The scientists behind the project are also working on similar AI systems to predict strokes and other diseases such as diabetes. The technology has already been used on a trial basis in several hospitals.

Artificial intelligence determines the risk of heart problems

The results so far appear extremely promising. More than 300,000 people in the UK experience severe chest pain each year and subsequently undergo CT scans. However, less than 20 percent of these patients actually have dangerous narrowing of their coronary arteries.

Doctors often send the remaining 80 percent straight home without medication, even though many of them later suffer serious or fatal cardiac events. The research team at the University of Oxford therefore developed a method to make hidden information visible in CT scans.

These could provide clues to dangerous inflammation in the arteries. This enables doctors to administer preventive treatments such as anti-inflammatory drugs. The AI ​​technology uses data on the properties of plaques in the coronary arteries and changes in fatty tissue. This helps to identify inflamed arteries and derive important information about the general health of the heart arteries.

Use also conceivable in Europe

The researchers initially determined the risk factors based on US case studies. However, data from 40,000 real patients in British hospitals is now available. The study showed that in 45 percent of cases, doctors changed the treatment of a patient based on the data provided by the AI. These treatments include the administration of drugs such as colchicine, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The team plans to introduce the technology in the USA, where the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing approval. In Europe, use is already possible in the form of clinical trials. The introduction could be a major step forward in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

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