Published 04 Mar 2024

AI helps transform Stroke Care at CMC Ludhiana



Mumbai, 4th March 2024:, a leading AI-driven medical imaging solutions provider, announced its latest hub & spoke network deployment at CMC Hospital, Ludhiana in partnership with Medtronic (India Medtronic Pvt. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medtronic plc). This initiative aims to elevate stroke care and diagnosis in Punjab. The innovative Hub-and-Spoke model, where CMC Ludhiana serves as the central hub and periphery hospitals as spokes is one of the many crucial deployments across the country.  
As part of the collaboration, CMC Ludhiana will establish a network of spoke hospitals across Punjab to create an efficient network of periphery hospitals, connected to the central hub, giving every connected spoke site, equal access to the state-of-the-art neurocritical care team function at CMC Ludhiana. CMC Ludhiana is the first Advanced stroke center certified by the World Stroke Organization. Moreover, it is also a Collaborating Center of Excellence for stroke research under the Indian Council of Medical Research. 
Stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when there is a sudden interruption of blood flow to a part of the brain. This interruption can be caused by either a blockage in the blood vessels (ischemic stroke) or the rupture of blood vessels (haemorrhagic stroke). Time to treatment is a critical element in determining the patient outcome in case of stroke. The "golden window" in stroke treatment is often between 4 to 6 hours after the onset of stroke symptoms. This is a critical window during which medical interventions like thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy are most effective. 
At the heart of the collaboration lies’s AI-enabled head CT solution – qER. The deep learning-based software has the ability to process the CT scan and provide comprehensive findings within 3 minutes. The network of hub & spoke is established on the care coordination platform – Qure App, facilitating seamless coordination between hub & spokes. When a suspected stroke patient is admitted to a spoke hospital, qER swiftly processes their CT scan using AI. In the event of critical findings, a real-time alert is promptly sent to the hub site's specialized stroke team along with annotated findings on the CT scan, facilitating seamless communication between the hub and spoke teams via the Qure App. In case of advanced interventions like thrombectomy, the spoke team is promptly guided to transfer the patient to the hub site. The benefits are clear: faster triaging, access to real-time information, and seamless hub & spokes coordination.  
Dr. Jeyaraj Pandian, President-Elect, World Stroke Organization, and Principal (Dean) and Professor of Neurology, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana said, “Stroke is preventable and treatable, and the key lies in timely intervention. Our collaboration with and Medtronic signifies a major leap forward in redefining stroke care by harnessing the power of artificial intelligence. The hub and spoke model that we have adopted will transform how we approach stroke management, enabling swift, efficient, and life-saving interventions.” 
The capability and availability of hospitals, especially those with specialized stroke units are fragmented across most parts of India. Often, the periphery hospitals lack neurocritical resources that can aid in faster diagnosis and treatment of stroke cases. This can be detrimental to the patient's prognosis and their quality of life. 
Christian Medical College (CMC), Ludhiana, anticipates an annual footfall of hundreds of stroke patients at its spoke sites, reinforcing its commitment to delivering accessible and comprehensive healthcare services. Furthermore, they have also conducted a thorough analysis of patient demographics that revealed an average age of 59 ± 15 years and a predominantly middle-class socioeconomic background. This data underscores CMC's dedication to tailoring healthcare solutions to the specific needs of its community. Additionally, the network's potential coverage area extends to the Ludhiana district, reflecting its strategic approach to ensuring healthcare accessibility across a wide geographic region. 
Michael Blackwell, VP & MD, Medtronic India said, “Time is brain when stroke affects a patient. Having access to a stroke-ready center, speedy diagnosis and treatment can save many lives. At Medtronic, our aim is to support an ecosystem where healthcare has no limits and technology can be leveraged to address rapidly evolving patient needs. Our collaboration with Qure to advance stroke care in many locations across India is a step in that direction.” 
Emphasizing the partnership's importance, Prashant Warier, CEO & Co-Founder,, stated, "The deployment of our solution in collaboration with Medtronic at a specialized institution like CMC Ludhiana signifies a pivotal step in expanding cutting-edge healthcare services to the furthest corners of India. This unique deployment approach underscores the profound impact of artificial intelligence in narrowing the healthcare gaps within the nation. It stands as a remarkable leap towards easing the challenges of stroke care in our country and propels us closer to our overarching goal of making healthcare accessible and cost-effective for everyone."  
qER, an advanced deep-learning software, utilizes cutting-edge technology to analyse head CT scans, pinpointing intracranial haemorrhages and infarcts for prioritized clinical assessment. The software offers crucial features such as anatomical location identification, precise quantification of ICH and infarct volumes, and ASPECTS scoring to assess stroke severity. Additionally, qER efficiently identifies Large Vessel Obstruction on CT Angiography, aiding in the selection of patients for Mechanical Thrombectomy, a crucial intervention that might otherwise be delayed or overlooked. The software includes a priority flag for critical cases, an overlay highlighting abnormal findings, and comprehensive reports that quantify detected abnormalities. qER is FDA, CE MDR cleared, with approval from multiple national regulators. The Qure App facilitates critical care coordination with timely alerts.  
Patient demographics study in Ludhiana : 

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