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AI used for the first time at Hereford County Hospital to determine care for stroke patients

A new diagnostic system which uses Artificial Intelligence to help doctors make quick decisions after a patient has had a stroke has been used for the first time at Hereford County Hospital.

The new RapidAI software, which analyses brain images of stroke patients to help determine whether a patient is a suitable candidate for either an operation or drugs to remove a blood clot, only went live at the hospital yesterday.

“The new software does this by automatically identifying the presence of Large Vessel Occlusions – a blockage in one of the main arteries in the brain - to a high accuracy, as well as highlighting any possible intracranial haemorrhages – areas of bleeding - and giving a rating which is used to determine critical changes in the level of blood flow on CT brain scans in acute strokes.” said Jenny Vernel senior radiographer and PACS manager at the Trust.

“The results and images are immediately available to us within the Trust, on our existing Picture Archiving Computer System (PACS) as well as the Stroke Team and Neuroradiologists in Birmingham to assist in rapid assessment of the imaging to decide on the best treatment for the patient in the shortest time possible to maximise the reversal of stroke symptoms and vastly improve patient recovery.”

The software assists clinicians to make a quick decision as to whether a patient requires either a Thrombectomy (to remove the clot through an operation) or Thrombolysis (using drugs to remove the clot),” added Jenny.

“AI will never replace the clinical expertise that our doctors and consultants have, but harnessing this latest technology is allowing us to make very quick decisions based on the experiences of thousands of other stroke patients.

“The system is linked to the Comprehensive Stroke Centre at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, meaning that clinical teams and experts at both sites can make faster and more informed clinical decisions – this is essential when treating stroke patients.”

Wye Valley NHS Trust is the first Trust in the West Midlands to roll out RapidAI as a satellite hospital to University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust which is acting as the hub for the region.

Pic captions:

Members of WVT’s stroke and radiology teams which are now using AI to help inform decision about the best treatment for stroke patients

The software allows the speedy analysis of brain scan images which can be viewed on computers or via an app which runs on mobile phones


Notes to Editors WVT:

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £295 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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