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Medaphor starts trial of artificial intelligence system for ultrasound scanning of pregnant women

It could allow pregnancy scanning to take place in GP surgeries

 


 

Expectant mothers of the future will be scanned using artificial intelligence if a pilot being carried out by a Welsh soitware company in a London hospital proves successful.

Cardiff University spinout MedaPhor who is based at Cardiff Medicentre is carrying out the trial of its ScanNav real time image analysis software at St George's Hospital in south-west London.

ScanNav uses artificial intelligence to carry out a real-time automated review of ultrasound images while the patient is scanned.

How it works

 

 

 

 

Hospitals in Wales are making thousands from selling ultrasound images to mothers-to-be

 

 

 

 

ScanNav evaluates more than 50 separate criteria to check that the views required by the NHS Fetal Anomaly Screening Programme are complete and fit for purpose.

It will initially be used to train sonographers but in the future allow other medical staff who have not been trained in interpreting ultrasound images to carry out scans.

It means that it might be possible for pregnant women to have their scans at their local GP surgery or health centre with the results interpreted by their GP or a nurse.

Katy Cook, lead sonographer in St George's Hospital Fetal Medicine Department, said: "Newly qualified sonographers, or those in training, may find this particularly helpful, giving confidence and enhancing skills to attain excellent imaging techniques.

"This AI software could also potentially automate the required auditing for obstetric scanning and demonstrate quality and competency for every sonographer in a busy clinical setting. This new way of assessing images looks very interesting and could have great potential."

It uses deep learning technology to assess the same features that sonographers look for in ultrasound images. The system has learnt to do this by looking at more than 350,000 ultrasound images assessed by a panel of senior sonographers.

Initial studies show that the system is as good as an expert sonographer in providing peer review of images.

Nick Sleep, chief technology officer of MedaPhor, added: "Understanding how ScanNav is utilised by expert sonographers in a clinical environment is helping us to better determine how our proposed range of ScanNav products will fit into the workflow of a busy fetal medicine department and support sonographers and doctors in ultrasound scanning."

Published on Mon, 12th Feb 2018

 
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