St Joseph’s brings two game-changing AI heart and lung assessments to Wales.

Date Posted: 22nd June 2021

St Joseph’s Hospital, in partnership with Heart & Lung Imaging Limited (H&L), has become the first hospital in Wales to offer two cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled imaging assessments, which can identify a wide range of respiratory and cardiac conditions, potentially in their earliest stages.

St Joseph’s Cardiology and Advanced Diagnostic Centre will offer the following two treatments from this week:

1.    Lung Health Check using AI Technology.
2.    CaRi-Heart Cardiac Health Check using AI Technology.

Having only been available in the UK for a matter of months, both assessments are currently offered in just a handful of locations, including London’s Harley Street. For all those in Wales and many in the South West of England, St Joseph’s will be their closest assessment location: 80% of patients referred for cardiac CT and cardiac MRI scans currently travel to St Joseph's from England.*

CT Scan showing inflammatory mediators

The checks, which offer expert clinical practice augmented by AI, are both offered in partnership with H&L’s specialist network of UK-wide expert Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologists, including Dr Jonathan Rodrigues, Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologist; Dr Sam Hare, Consultant Chest Radiologist and Dr Graham Robinson, Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologist; Dr Aniket Tavare, Consultant Chest Radiologist.

Lung Health Check using AI Technology.

With the potential to eliminate unnecessary biopsies as well as to speed up diagnoses, the new Lung Health Check uses expert reporting supplemented by cutting edge AI analysis to detect abnormalities which may be invisible on a conventional chest x-ray.

It is based on AI detection and quantification of lung nodules (cancer), emphysema and interstitial lung disease to give a truly comprehensive assessment of a patient’s lung health. As well as giving those with a high risk of developing lung cancer the opportunity to identify signs of the disease at the earliest possible stage, it may also be used to look for the signs of other lung abnormalities, COVID-19 infection damage.

It is completely non-invasive and will be offered as a complete package of care by St Joseph’s, with each patient being under the care of a Chest Physician who will act upon the outcome, including a virtual consultation. The assessment costs £699.

CaRi-Heart™ Cardiac Health Check using AI Technology.

CaRi-Heart™ – developed by Caristo Diagnostics and based on research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) – brings together motion-free images of a patient’s heart arteries and AI-derived information to assess an individual’s heart health. The check, which combines the measurement of coronary artery inflammation with other clinical risk factors, can help a specialist to calculate an individual’s risk of a fatal heart attack within the next eight years. 

This non-invasive assessment is a highly accurate novel approach and, when undertaken at St Joseph’s top of the range cardiac CT scanner, also comes as part of an end-to-end package. Each patient will be under the care of the referring clinician; either their consultant cardiologist or family doctor, who will manage any risks identified. Treatment may include medication and lifestyle changes such as a complete diet and exercise package. All assessments are followed up with a fully comprehensive report and the option of a virtual consultation. Costs start at £1499 for the CT scan, expert report, and AI analysis.

Jane Carpanini, Director of Advanced Diagnostics at St Joseph’s Hospital, comments: “We’re committed to bringing the best available diagnostic capabilities to St Joseph’s, and I’m very excited to be able to offer both of these revolutionary lung and cardiac assessments from this week. 

“The more we are able to predict health outcomes, the earlier we are able to offer interventions which we know can have a positive impact – such as changes in diet and exercise. As end-to-end packages, both assessments offer patients the best possible care at each stage and have the potential to change thousands of lives in the process.”

High FAI cross section
Low FAI cross section image

Dr Jonathan Rodrigues, Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologist, adds: “Advanced imaging is now at the forefront of the patient's diagnostic journey. Combining H&L expert radiologist assessment with cutting edge AI will improve patient outcomes. It is exciting to see products I have been involved with in the research setting achieve regulatory approval and be deployed to benefit patients.

“Low dose CT scans allow us to detect early lung cancer in at risk patients as well as assess the lungs for other diseases such as lung scarring. Using cutting edge AI analysis and expert chest imaging reporters we can also accurately measure the amount of emphysema and scarring in lungs like never before and may be particularly relevant in the post-COVID-19 era.”

Dr Jonathan Rodrigues, Consultant Cardiothoracic Radiologist
Jane Carpanini, Director of Advanced Diagnostics

Dr Cheerag Shirodaria from Caristo, added: “Caristo is delighted to be working with St Joseph’s and H&L to bring CaRi-Heart to patients. Our ground-breaking technology, developed with support from the British Heart Foundation, is a transformational advance in our ability to diagnose and detect coronary artery disease, allowing earlier identification of at-risk individuals.”

To find out more, individuals should call 01633 820301 or email advanceddiagnostics@stjosephshospital.co.uk

*Data based on patients referred for cardiac diagnostic services over the last 18 months.