The heart of a young woman – age 38 – safe from the risk of heart attack. A case “solved with the ‘consultancy’ of Doctor Ai”. It is not the story of a hospital of the future, where you can imagine machines and real doctors working side by side in everyday life. But it happens today, in Italy, in the hemodynamics laboratory of a healthcare facility: artificial intelligence allows the specialist to see something that was practically invisible at first examination. It is an exemplary case that photographs the hi-tech revolution underway in medicine. This was reported to Adnkronos Salute by Giovanni Esposito, president of Gise and director of the Uoc of Cardiology, Hemodynamics and Utic of the Federico II University Hospital of Naples.
“Recently it happened to me that I had a young patient who had pain and had already gone to hospital several times. We subjected her to coronary angiography and essentially she seemed to have nothing – explains the expert – So we decided to investigate further” with further tests of diagnostic imaging “and from the analysis of the advanced imaging with artificial intelligence we discovered that he had a coronary dissection”, in practice the innermost layer of the vessel was torn. “Which – explains Esposito – obviously involves an important diagnosis because coronary dissection, if all the necessary procedures are not undertaken, can also lead to the closure” of the vessel itself “and to a heart attack”.
A case of hi-tech prevention. “The protagonist woman is 38 years old. Unfortunately it is often especially in these patients that dissections are more frequent”, but in these patients it always happens that “the diagnosis becomes more difficult. AI helps above all in these more complex cases”, highlights Esposito. The expert explained to the patient saved with the help of the algorithm that “today we have technologies available that could not be used until a few years ago”. These “support us in the diagnosis, which is much more precise, detailed and reliable than in the past”.
Dr. Ai’s added value is even more significant if we consider the gender gap that disadvantages women’s hearts. The potential of technology is one of the topics that will be covered by the Italian Society of Interventional Cardiology (Gise) on the occasion of the 44th National Congress, in Milan from 3 to 6 October. “Until now, patient access to digital information was mainly linked to sources that were not well controllable, such as Google and other search engines and there was no possibility of verification and filtering – reasons Esposito – With the Ai protocols which are available today you can have access to much more controlled information, and there are possibilities of anticipating symptoms or pathologies or resolving complex diagnostic situations. The patient, then, can obtain general information that has a more reliable source than uncontrolled information” .
AI “can be an ally of the heart of women, for whom the symptoms are more complex and there is an underestimation of those alarm bells that are more easily alarmed in men. In this context, intelligence artificial has the advantage of helping to evaluate in a much more objective way, minimizing the interpretative part”. The way is therefore opened “for more objective evaluations of what the diagnostic options may be. AI – highlights Esposito – could therefore be of help to women in this sense, it certainly reduces the diagnostic gap a little which in this there is a moment.”
Symptoms are often interpreted differently, depending on the sex of the patient, the specialist reasons. “If at the age of 45 a man says he has pain in his chest and arm, he thinks it’s a heart attack, if a woman of the same age tells it, it happens less often and this creates difficulties. With information based on objective symptoms and the help of the Ai who gives a scientific nature to the information that is submitted, the gender gap can be significantly reduced. There is a lot of data in the literature that illustrates the problem: the time after which a woman goes to the emergency room in the presence of chest pain is much longer longer than in men. The case of aortic stenosis is significant: in women the diagnosis is often much later than in men. If a 75-year-old patient has shortness of breath, we more often think of a respiratory, pneumological problem. “Man, on the other hand, immediately thinks about the cardiovascular part and subjects him to a control ultrasound, which for her is done much later. Therefore – he concludes – there is a diagnostic delay not only in heart attacks, but also in valvular pathologies” .