In this article, we’ll be exploring how AI technologies are revolutionising the way doctors are treating spinal injuries…
In the UK 2,500 people sustain a spinal cord injury every year. Spinal cord injuries can result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or disks of the spinal column or to the spinal canal (cauda equina). This can often cause permanent changes in sensation and strength as well as affecting other body functions below the site of injury.
Spinal injuries can have life-changing consequences and can have devasting effects on patients mentally and physically. It’s therefore important to look into spinal injury or cauda equina claims if you or a loved one have experienced negligence during your or their prognosis.
AI technology has helped bridge the gap between spinal injury patients and the recovery. Keep reading to learn more..
Is it Difficult for Doctors to Diagnose and Treat Spinal Cord Injuries?
While back pain is very common, it can sometimes be equally challenging to get to the root cause of why your back is hurting. Diagnosing back pain in particular can take time. This is due to the fact there could be many underlying causes of back pain and it can be difficult to identify the specific source. Additionally, the diagnostic tests and scans available are not always 100% effective or accurate.
Currently, there is no cure for a spinal cord injury. However, rehabilitation and adaptive devices can help survivors regain more independence and overall improve their quality of life.
However, recent artificial intelligence (AI) technologies offer new hope for patients suffering from spinal cord injuries. Below we’ll take a look at some of the recent studies that have been using AI to more effectively diagnose and treat patients with spinal cord injuries.
Scar Tissue and Regeneration
Researchers from Rutgers University have employed AI and robotics to successfully develop an enzyme that can degrade scar tissue from spinal cord injuries. The enzyme itself can also promote healthy tissue regeneration.
The study was recently published in Advanced Healthcare Materials and details the team’s ground-breaking stabilisation of the enzyme, Chondroitinase ABC. This research represents one of the first times artificial intelligence and robotics have been used to formulate highly sensitive therapeutic proteins.
This study offers new hope for patients coping with spinal cord injuries.
Nerve Stimulation Device
Researchers, Grégoire Courtine and Jocelyne Bloch of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne led a study that has helped three patients who were paralysed, to walk, cycle and swim again.
The team did this by designing a new nerve stimulation device, controlled by AI software, which sent electrical signals to specifically target and activate regions of the spinal cord.
The AI then instructs electrodes on the device to emit signals to stimulate the individual nerves needed to walk. The nerve-stimulation device was cleverly controlled by a touchscreen tablet.
Currently, there is no existing treatment to enable the spinal cord to heal itself, but researchers have found ways to help paralysed people regain mobility through AI technology.
AI and X-Rays
Researchers at Khon Kaen University in Thailand have developed an AI algorithm that has the potential to help trauma clinicians diagnose spinal cord injuries on x-rays. The team did this by testing a deep-learning model trained to identify damage on the lateral cervical spine. They then compared its diagnostic performance to that of readers with varying levels of clinical experience.
Researchers found that the deep-learning algorithm could help improve the accuracy of x-rays, help clinicians in quickly triaging patients and minimise the number of unnecessary CT scans.
The Future of AI and Spinal Injury Prognosis
From scar tissue regeneration to a nerve stimulation device which helped paralysed patients walk again, the future of AI certainly holds out hope for individuals coping with spinal cord injuries. From the studies shown above, it’s clear that AI and robotics have the capacity to improve the effectiveness and accuracy of diagnostics.
As well as the potential to help patients regain mobility.
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained medical or legal professional. Be sure to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Be sure to consult a medical lawyer/solicitor if you’re seeking advice on medical negligence claims. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site