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AI could help NHS surgeons perform 300 more transplants every year, say UK surgeons

Artificial intelligence could help NHS surgeons perform 300 more transplant operations every year, according to British researchers who have designed a new tool to boost the quality of donor organs.

Currently, medical staff must rely on their own assessments of whether an organ may be suitable for transplanting into a patient. It means some organs are picked that ultimately do not prove successful, while others that might be useful can be disregarded.

Now experts have developed a pioneering method that uses AI to effectively score potential organs by comparing them to images of tens of thousands of other organs used in transplant operations.

The project is being backed by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), which has almost 7,000 people in the UK on its waiting list for a transplant.

“We at NHSBT are extremely committed to making this exciting venture a success,” said Prof Derek Manas, the organ donation and transplantation medical director of NHSBT.

“This is an exciting development in technological infrastructure that, once validated, will enable surgeons and transplant clinicians to make more informed decisions about organ usage and help to close the gap between those patients waiting for and those receiving lifesaving organs.”

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Source: The Guardian, 1 March 2023


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