27 June 2023

Sheffield Hospitals AI technology for heart diagnosis announced as regional winner of Future NHS Award at NHS Parliamentary Awards

A team of doctors and scientists from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been announced as regional winners of the prestigious Future NHS Award at the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2023.

This recognition comes in honour of their ground-breaking work in developing an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) tool that could be a game-changer in future heart disease care.

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Prompt and accurate evaluation of heart function is crucial in providing effective care and improving patient outcomes, however traditional methods of assessing heart function can be time-consuming, requiring lengthy manual analysis.

The AI tool, trialled by the team of scientists, clinicians, and heart imaging specialists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, can assess MRI heart scans in a matter of seconds. This super-fast analysis has the potential to be a 'game changer' in the field, greatly expediting the diagnosis, treatment, and overall patient care.

The technology has been developed by Dr Andrew Swift, Dr Samer Alabed, Dr Kavita Karunasagaraar and Dr Pete Metherall through an NHS 'AI in Health and Care grant awarded to the University of Sheffield with support from MRI radiographers and clinical scientists at the Sheffield 3D-lab and in collaboration with Dr Rob van der Geest at Leiden University. It has been extensively tested and validated in over 5,000 anonymised patient scans at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and further tested on scans from over 30 hospitals in the UK. The team now aim to make it available more widely thanks to an additional £5,000 funding boost from a Medipex NHS Innovation Award win.

Dr Andrew Swift, Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologist at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield said: “Winning the regional award and being shortlisted for the national Future NHS Award is a testament to the visionary work and dedication of the whole team. The new software provides a quick and comprehensive analysis of the heart’s function and has the potential to free up more clinician’s time to focus on direct patient care rather than having to do this analysis.”

Clive Betts, Labour MP for Sheffield South East, who nominated the team for the award said: “Huge congratulations to the team for being shortlisted for this prestigious award. It is a credit to their hard work and innovation in the field and I am so pleased that their work is being recognised.”

The Future NHS Award recognises outstanding achievements in improving patient care and transforming healthcare services. It celebrates forward-thinking initiatives that have the potential to shape the future of the NHS positively. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's artificial intelligence tool for evaluating heart function is a shining example of such innovation and follows their recent award nominations at the HSJ Digital Awards earlier this year.

The winners of the NHS Parliamentary Awards 2023 will be announced at a ceremony on 5th July 2023 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster.

Photo: Dr Kavita Karunasagaraar, Dr Andrew Swift, Dr Samer Alabed and Dr Pete Metherall and the segmented results of the MRI heart scan the AI technology is able to generate in a matter of seconds.

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