MedaPhor, an intelligent ultrasound software and simulation company, announces it is commencing a clinical trial within the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, an NHS Wales organisation in south Wales, to capture data for its AnatomyGuide artificial intelligence (AI) software for ultrasound-guided anaesthetic procedures such as peripheral nerve blocks.
Increasingly, ultrasound-guided peripheral nerve blocks are being used as a safer and more cost-effective alternative to general anaesthesia, but not all anaesthetists have the specialist knowledge of ultrasound anatomy to perform them. AnatomyGuide provides software support and guidance to aid less experienced clinicians during the procedure.
Using deep-learning techniques on a data set of thousands of real-patient images, the technology is ‘taught’ to recognise key anatomical structures. Then, by highlighting these structures in real-time during an ultrasound-guided nerve block procedure, AnatomyGuide’s AI makes it easier for clinicians to accurately target the nerve. The clinical data from the Aneurin Bevan clinical trial is expected to complete the required data set.
Through the adoption of AnatomyGuide, it is hoped that hospitals will be able to increase the number of ultrasound-guided nerve blocks that they can perform. Principal Investigator and consultant anaesthetist, Dr David Burckett-St.Laurent, said: “AnatomyGuide will help tip the balance of safety and confidence in favour of performing regional anaesthesia. I feel privileged to work with a Welsh company that is leading the world in developing AIbased ultrasound software. Our aim is to make a real clinical difference to patients by increasing theavailability of regional anaesthesia through cutting edge technology. It is very exciting.”
AnatomyGuide is being developed as part of an Innovate UK project funded within the government’s
AI and data grand challenge. Nicholas Sleep, CTO at MedaPhor, commented: “AnatomyGuide shows how strategic government investment can catalyse an innovative technology that we hope will make a real difference to NHS patient care. The team in Cardiff are excited to be working with Innovate UK in developing AI technology that has real-world applications and we look forward to completing the clinical trials with David and the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.”