How AI is helping one local hospital detect fatal health problems before they happen

WORCESTER, Mass. — There's only one hospital in Massachusetts using new artificial intelligence technology to detect fatal health problems before they happen.

Doctors like Hao Lo at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester are some of the smartest, but they're no match for AI. The hospital is the only one in New England to use the technology, which works through an advanced learning algorithm.

"It's not like a human, it doesn't get tired and doesn't take breaks. It is literally always working," said Lo.

It's able to access data and research studies from thousands of patients and use it to catch problems even the most trained eye may not be able to see.

"The computer algorithm automatically takes the little pieces of information – it essentially runs a test this is millions and millions of information for every brain," said Lo.

If someone comes in with ailments like massive headaches, numbness or weakness, or any early warning signs of a stroke, "the hope is that this technology will help us find those aneurysms – especially the small ones… let's say one or two millimeters — which is tiny." Smaller than the tip of a pen, but deadly.

Every minute you have a blocked artery in your brain, you lose 2 million neurons. Speed is key, with artificial intelligence you can save over an hour of valuable time to get a patient in for surgery.

"This is as critical as it gets each minute you are losing this that probably will never come back."

Allowing doctors like Dr. Puri to operate and clear blocked arteries faster.

AI and the treatment that follows has likely already saved lives at UMass Memorial.