Every second matters when treating a stroke: a clot in the blood vessels that prevents the brain from getting oxygen. A stroke leads to a quick death of that part of the brain if left untreated. Swift action is required to limit the damage done. Along with Nico.lab and Google, Qlouder committed herself to drastically accelerate this treatment process. By reducing the time it takes to share CT scans between hospitals to just a few minutes, we want to increase the chance on successful treatment.
The situation today
If someone with a suspected stroke enters the hospital, a CT scan is performed immediately. It then often happens that the scan goes to another specialist (in another hospital) for review. The series of scans/photos, also known as the DICOM image, has to be shared with other hospitals using an internal hospital network. This means that if someone in – for example – the city of Alkmaar ends up in the hospital, a doctor in Amsterdam assesses the potential treatment success rate and whether the patient has to be transferred to another hospital. In this process, doctors normally lose a lot of precious time. In fact, the time loss is so extensive, doctors would normally already(!) initiate the hospital transfer with the CD scans attached to their chest – so that there’s no wait time for the network to respond.
Together with Google and Nico.Lab we aim to drastically shorten the process time. Nico.lab develops algorithms that quickly analyze CT scans and detect deviations. These algorithms result in enormous time savings. Qlouder supports Nico.lab in this mission by providing the infrastructure required to do the analyses. To enable doctors and the algorithms to analyze the scan, you want to have the DICOM-images available within your system as soon as possible. Following an extensive evaluation of the different cloud platforms available, it showed that Google Cloud Platform (GCP) guarantees the highest speed. Qlouder built the SaaS application that makes the images quickly accessible for both the ML model and the doctors in the various cooperating hospitals such as StrokeNet. In addition, doctors are notified when a new scan appears. This saves doctors tens of minutes, when every second matters.
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