Kidney failure, Multiple Sclerosis and stroke are all being targeted
Two Technion master’s degree students have created a way to accurately predict whether a person is likely to have a stroke.
Working under the supervision of the head of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Medicine, Shany Biton and Sheina Gendelman worked with more than one million ECG recordings from more than 400,000 patients to create a machine-learning algorithm to assess the likelihood of developing an irregular heart rhythm atrial fibrillation (AFib), which causes one in seven strokes.
Only 5% of the 60% predicted to develop AFib did not go on to develop the condition.
It means countless lives could be saved as those at risk are notified in advance, enabling them to make necessary lifestyle changes to either prevent or delay the condition.
Professor Behar, who led the study, said: “We do not seek to replace the human doctor. We don’t think that would be desirable. But we wish to put better decision support tools into the doctors’ hands.”
Meanwhile, two Technion-led startups are changing the way we treat some of the most common health conditions.
CollPlant Biotechnologies – led by alum Yechiel Tal – is working with United Therapeutics Corporation to manufacture artificial kidneys using a former tobacco plant. The process includes growing small plantlets from the seeds of engineered tobacco plants to create the collagen required for the 3D printing of human organs.
“Organ shortages are an unmet global health need, [and] by partnering with United Therapeutics, we have made significant progress with this pivotal organ manufacturing initiative,” Tal said. “We remain committed to exploring new innovative applications in the fields of medical aesthetics and 3D bioprinting of tissues and organs.”
NeuroGenesis – whose COO is a Technion alum – is another Israeli company making giant strides in healthcare thanks to its stem cell therapy which hopes to regenerate the brain of MS sufferers.
Of 15 patients who received spinal injections from their own bone marrow, nine experienced a drop in levels of neurofilament light chain – a protein heightened as the disability progresses – and eight went on to have improved disability scores, even after a year.
The peer-reviewed study has been published in the journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine.