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Researchers from Twente use AI to predict coma outcome

Nieke Roos
Leestijd: 2 minuten

Researchers of the University of Twente and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital developed a learning network that’s capable of interpreting the EEG patterns of coma patients, providing better insight into their prospects. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can give a reliable outcome prediction, and thus forms a valuable extra source of information for decision-making. The researchers present their approach in the Critical Care Medicine journal.

In the Netherlands, about one-third of the people that had a cardiac arrest followed by resuscitation will have to be treated in the intensive care unit. These patients, about 7,000 each year, are in a coma. More than half of them will not regain consciousness. The family will want to know what the prospects are and, if their relative regains consciousness, what will be the quality of life. The question “Does further treatment make sense?” can only be answered after careful analysis of the situation.

The brain’s electrical signals – the EEG patterns measured via electrodes on the head – provide a lot of information. EEG analysis using AI gives a very accurate outcome prediction, as the Dutch researchers now show in their paper. Twelve hours after resuscitation, the learning network is capable of predicting a good outcome with 58 percent accuracy and a bad outcome with 48 percent. This is a better performance than the trained eye of a neurologist. Both computer and human, however, still have a category ‘I don’t know’, in situations the EEG data are not specific enough.

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