May 17, 2020

Facebook partners with NYU School of Medicine to revolutionise the MRI process

Digital health
Catherine Sturman
2 min
Through a recent blog, Facebook has revealed its decision to partner with New York University’s School of Medicine’s radiology department to transfo...

Through a recent blog, Facebook has revealed its decision to partner with New York University’s School of Medicine’s radiology department to transform the traditional MRI process.

Harnessing digital tools such as AI, MRI’s have the potential to be undertaken up to 10 times faster, reducing scans to just five minutes. This would be highly advantageous for those who are uncomfortable lying down for long periods of time, those who have a fear of enclosed spaces, as well as young children who can be frightened by such an experience.

Additionally, with rural areas and a global ageing population, wait times, particularly in rural areas, continue to grow as a result of such a time-consuming process.

With increased demands for MRI scans, medical professionals are provided with detailed information of soft tissues through the creation of cross-sectional images. However, the larger the area, the longer the process will take. Amplifying the speed will therefore deliver increased accessibility and reduce the risk of ionizing radiation for patients, delivering a more positive patient experience with enhanced results.

By effectively training artificial neural networks to recognise all structures within the body, high quality images will be produced with less data used.

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“It is similar to how humans process sensory information. When we experience the world, our brains often receive an incomplete picture — as in the case of obscured or dimly lit objects — that we need to turn into actionable information. 

Early work performed at NYU School of Medicine shows that artificial neural networks can accomplish a similar task, generating high-quality images from far less data than was previously thought to be necessary,” explained Larry Zitnick, Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR), Dr Daniel Sodickson and Michael Recht, MDs, NYU School of Medicine.

"We have some great physicists here and even some hot-stuff mathematicians, but Facebook and FAIR have some of the leading AI scientists in the world," added Dr Sodickson.

Utilising three million, anonymised magnetic resonance images in up 10,000 clinical cases, in adherence with HIPAA, the partners will implement machine learning technology and data mining to overhaul the entire process, which will be fully supported through the use of AI.

With the aim to provide breakthroughs and advance medical imaging as quickly as possible, the duo has also embraced open-source to enable the wider research community to support its development further.

Such advances will not only seek to transform the MRI process, but also other medical imaging tools, such as X-rays and computed tomography (CT).

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Jul 27, 2021

 NHS care homes are better than private, report finds

2 min
 NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
NHS residential care homes provide better quality care than the private sector, a new report by Kepler Vision Technologies has found

A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities. 

The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75. 

Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement. 

However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector. 

Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.

Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities. 

Other key findings of the survey include: 
 * Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
 * 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
 * 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
 * 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
 * 47%  are worried about their parent being lonely
 * 46% are concerned they could fall over alone

The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn

Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space. 

"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”

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