PARIS: The UK’s University of Oxford recently announced a major breakthrough in heart attack prevention, thanks to the development of a tool powered by artificial intelligence. It could help detect potentially fatal heart attacks years in advance.
The researchers worked on the idea of developing an AI tool capable of analysing cardiac risk using sophisticated algorithms.
While doctors currently rely mainly on data such as age and lifestyle to assess patients’ risk of heart attack, this tool uses algorithms to examine more detailed medical data, for a personalised and much more accurate risk assessment. It can predict risk up to 10 years before an incident occurs.
The aim is to be able to identify high-risk patients who are unaware of their condition, and offer them appropriate preventive treatment.
In the long term, this tool could not only save lives, but also reduce healthcare costs associated with the care and treatment that usually follows an initial attack. This would benefit both science and the British public health system.
An initial trial of this AI tool on 744 patients improved treatment for 45% of the sample. Each patient was assigned an AI-generated risk “score.” In almost half the cases, doctors were thus able to modify their treatment plans for people who did not necessarily appear to be at risk.
The researchers estimate that the use of this technology could lead to a reduction of more than 20% in heart attacks and 8% in cardiac deaths and strokes among those tested. A larger-scale pilot program is due to be launched shortly in five hospitals.
Heart attacks account for a third of all deaths worldwide.