Tenet Health Central Coast implements new Artificial Intelligence platform to treat stroke patients

Tenet Health Central Coast (THCC) is at the forefront of utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to elevate the care of stroke patients in its community.

phoneRecently, both Tenet Health Central Coast (THCC) hospitals – Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo and Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton – implemented a diagnosis-to-action technology that features Artificial Intelligence (AI), giving THCC care teams the ability to diagnose stroke patients with Large Vessel Occlusion (LVO) within minutes of the CT scan being completed. Subsequently, the hospitals are able to offer faster treatments and interventions, which may have a significant impact on outcomes and mortality.

“In the pre-AI era, which is only a few years ago, stroke patients would undergo complex brain imaging, which were downloaded to our imaging systems and portals. Our stroke team, including neurologists, radiologists, and emergency department physicians, would then review those images and communicate amongst each other by phone to come up with a plan,” said Dr. Moussa Yazbeck, Medical Director of Stroke Programs at Tenet Health Central Coast. “Now, with the recently acquired AI, the AI has the ability to quickly review those images and alert the different providers on the team if an LVO is present. Importantly, the stroke care team utilizes the AI platform to communicate quickly and efficiently. This has already proven to expedite care and improve outcomes in only a short period of time.”

laptop and phonesMaria Irthum, Tenet Health Central Coast Neuroscience, Stroke, and Spine Coordinator, gives an example: “We saw the impact during the first week of implementation. We had a neurologist who was out shopping one day when he was alerted via his phone by the AI software, which detected an LVO. This triggered the action for quicker intervention.”

Just as important as the speed of the results, Dr. Yazbeck speaks of the quality of the images as well.

“The quality of the images is impressive even on a small handheld device such as my phone,” said Dr. Yazbeck. “I can zoom in and zoom out and utilize 3D technology. The sensitivity and specificity of the AI software in detecting LVO is also very impressive and comforting.”

The tools are HIPAA compliant and available to the THCC stroke care team via cell phones or tablets. THCC works with Viz.ai to implement the AI technology in the coordination of stroke care.

“We worked diligently to get this technology at Tenet Health Central Coast because we know our patients will benefit from it and we are grateful for the support of our integrated teams,” said Dr. Yazbeck. “This is an evolving field, and we're at the forefront of this technology. We are extremely happy and proud to offer this level of care to patients in our community.”