Nicola Emery

A&E and AI: How Everlight Radiology Deploys AI to Support NHS Trust Care Expediency

In April 2023, the National Health Service (NHS) released data showing that nearly 40% of patients were waiting in the A&E departments beyond the 4-hour target mark, with 27,000 patients waiting up to 12 hours before seeing a physician. The problem is exacerbated by an ongoing shortage of radiologists, as the Royal College of Radiology estimates there is a 29% shortfall of radiologists to meet imaging demands, which will rise to an estimated 40% in five years without action. To meet the imaging volume surge and radiologist shortage, NHS Trusts partner with teleradiology providers like Everlight Radiology to take on many of the medical imaging reading needs. To ensure the best performance, radiology departments and private providers around the UK have deployed AI to deliver quality results.

How Does AI Impact Turnaround Times and Disease Awareness?

AI delivers a unique level of automation, running in the background of radiology workflows, analysing images and checking for anomalies all within minutes. After analysing the images, any suspected anomalies are flagged and the radiologist is alerted on their desktop to make the diagnosis. By notifying within minutes of image acquisition, radiologists can properly triage the case more quickly and report for further medical consultation with A&E physicians and specialists. 

AI can also reduce the reporting turnaround time for incidental cases. Here, the AI flags an anomaly in unexpected circumstances, such as a pulmonary embolism appearing on the edge of film of an abdominal scan, where the radiologist is primarily focused on an abdominal medical anomaly.

Aidoc’s AI can assist in identifying suspected incidental findings. In a clinical study at Sweden’s Halland Hospital, Aidoc demonstrated an 80% enhanced identification rate of incidental cases of pulmonary emboli. In terms of radiology reporting and patient impact, this means the AI has the ability to reduce potentially long delays in care for patients suffering from acute medical conditions that are difficult to identify and triage.

How Does Everlight Deploy Aidoc to Help Its Radiologists?

Everlight works with many NHS trusts in the UK. In an effort to drive the highest quality care with NHS Trusts, Everlight deployed Aidoc AI in 2019, making them one of the first to adopt Aidoc in the UK. The partnership has resulted in enhancement to the support available to everlight radiologists in their reporting, reduced risk and clinical improvements, all of which benefit radiologists working with Everlight, their referring clients and, most importantly, their patients.

Broadening Disease Awareness

Flagging cases of acute medical conditions within a busy reporting environment ensures that urgent cases are prioritised, meaning that patients can be diagnosed and treated faster. In a clinical study of hemorrhagic stroke, Aidoc demonstrated the ability to help increase radiologist detection of hemorrhagic stroke by 12.2%.

We all know how common incidental pulmonary emboli are, and how easy they are to miss in a busy reporting environment on non-dedicated studies. Everlight deploys Aidoc’s incidental pulmonary embolism (iPE) algorithm, which currently flags and triages an average of 200 cases of iPE each month, supporting radiologists in reducing time to report these findings and facilitating appropriate patient management.

Reducing Read Times

By triaging cases directly in the radiologist’s workflow, Aidoc helps reduce both read time and reporting turnaround time on positive acute cases. With Everlight, in a clinical analysis, Aidoc demonstrated the ability to reduce read time by nearly 10% for cases of hemorrhagic stroke and nearly 12% for cases of pulmonary embolism.

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Nicola Emery