Australian doctors tackle brain aneurysms with artificial intelligence
29 Aug 2019
between Japanese artificial intelligence (AI) specialists, a US scanner
manufacturer and Australian clinicians could dramatically improve diagnoses
of a common, potentially fatal brain condition.
Four organisations – Fujitsu Australia, GE Healthcare, Macquarie University
and Macquarie Medical Imaging – are applying AI techniques to scanned
medical images to help detect brain aneurysms before symptoms develop.
The partnership has received a A$2.1 million grant from the Cooperative
, which provides matched funding of up to A$3 million for industry-led
According to Professor John Magnussen, Diagnostic and Interventional
Radiologist at Macquarie Medical Imaging, diagnosing brain aneurysms is
expertise-intensive, while missed aneurysms can have terrible outcomes.
‘By creating an AI assistant to automatically flag potential aneurysms and
allow for accurate follow-up, we can make a huge difference to patient
care,’ he says.
Brain aneurysms are swellings caused by weaknesses in the wall of a brain
artery. Present in approximately two per cent of the population, a ruptured
brain aneurysm has a high chance of causing death or permanent disability.
Fujitsu Australia is one of Australia’s premier information technology
companies. The subsidiary’s Tokyo-based parent company is already using AI
to address multiple analytical challenges in retail, transport and
financial services around the world.
The new partnership will see Fujitsu Australia apply AI to patient images
generated by GE’s Revolution CT scanner. AI trained algorithms will then
seek out abnormalities associated with aneurysms.
Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand,
says that AI has the potential to solve difficult medical problems such as
‘We are pleased to be part of this ‘co-creation’ initiative that leverages
the strengths of each of our partners, as well as Fujitsu’s experience in
AI,’ he says.
Macquarie University and Macquarie Medical Imaging will provide clinical
expertise for the project. The initial focus will be on refining the
technology to create a commercially viable diagnostic technique. Project
members hope the technique can then be used by radiology practices in
Australia and worldwide.
Professor Patrick McNeil, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Medicine and Health at
Macquarie University says the project is an excellent example of health
services collaborating with industry.
‘Macquarie University – with its own hospital and clinical expertise – is
well placed to actively contribute to the development of applied medical
innovations,’ he says. ‘We welcome the opportunity to work with leading
information technology, healthcare and diagnostics companies, such as
Fujitsu, GE and Macquarie Medical imaging.’