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Chest X-Ray AI Algorithm Warns of Pneumothorax

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 May 2019
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Image: An AI chest X-ray triage product prioritizes pneumothorax (Photo courtesy of Zebra Medical).
Image: An AI chest X-ray triage product prioritizes pneumothorax (Photo courtesy of Zebra Medical).
An artificial intelligence (AI) system automatically issues a triage alert if pneumothorax (PNX) is detected on a chest X-ray (CXR).

The Zebra Medical Vision (Shefayim, Israel) HealthPNX AI algorithm detects abnormal findings suggestive of pneumothorax based on CXR or digital radiography scans, and issues an alert to notify the medical team. The AI network was trained using millions of CXR images in order to identify over 40 common clinical findings. Subsequent validation imaging studies demonstrated high rates of agreement between the HealthPNX algorithm and human radiologists, potentially increasing their confidence in making PNX diagnosis and reducing substantially turnaround time.

In hospitals where Zebra Medical’s All-in-One (AI1) solution is integrated into the radiologist's worklist, the scan is flagged so that the radiologist can address it in a timely manner, saving physicians more than 80% of the time taken to identify the acute condition compared to traditional First In First Out (FIFO) methodology. The AI1 Triage solution also addresses another acute condition, intracranial hemorrhage, by automatically evaluating head CTs. Other Zebra Medical AI algorithms can identify patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

“The pneumothorax product is a result of the extensive work accomplished by the Zebra-Med's research lab. We are happy to add this important capability to our AI1 package and add more value to busy radiology departments,” said Eyal Gura, CEO and co-founder of Zebra Medical. “Health providers across the United States that already use the many Zebra-integrated PACS and worklist systems will be able to easily deploy our triage solution and improve their patients' care and outcomes.”

Primary spontaneous pneumothorax is an abnormal accumulation of air in the pleural space that can result in the partial or complete collapse of a lung. It is likely due to the formation of small sacs of air (blebs) in lung tissue that rupture, causing air to leak into the pleural space, creating pressure that is manifest as chest pain on the side of the collapsed lung and shortness of breath. Often, people who experience a primary spontaneous pneumothorax have no prior sign of illness; the blebs themselves typically do not cause any symptoms and are visible only on medical imaging. Affected individuals may have one to more than thirty blebs.

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