Speeding Up Stroke Care with Innovative AI-Powered Software

The Wall Street Journal: An Asian Innovation Awards Finalist


Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death worldwide. Every minute counts when treating a stroke victim, as millions of neurons can die during the critical decision-making process. The Singapore Stroke Suite, developed by a research team in Singapore including Ihar Volkau by supervision of Wieslaw Nowinski, is innovative Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) software that helps clinicians quickly assess and treat strokes.

Impact and Recognition

The Suite was selected as a finalist in the prestigious Asian Innovation Awards by The Wall Street Journal. Nearly 300 nominations across Asia were received for the awards, which recognize exciting technological advancements and products being developed in the region. The suite's capabilities in speeding up and refining stroke diagnosis were a key factor in its recognition among other groundbreaking technologies in the region.

Understanding Stroke Problems

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, either due to a blockage (ischemia) or a blood vessel rupture (hemorrhage). Quick and accurate diagnosis is essential, as millions of neurons die each minute during a stroke. Traditional 2-D brain scans provide limited information, making it challenging for clinicians to make fast, informed decisions.

The Singapore Stroke Suite

The Singapore Stroke Suite leverages Computer-Aided Diagnosis (CAD) to enhance the diagnostic process. Best known for its use in cancer screening, CAD processes digital medical images to create detailed 3-D projections. This technology assists clinicians in identifying and quantifying affected brain areas, such as infarcts (dead tissue due to lack of blood supply) and penumbra (surrounding at-risk tissue).

How It Works

The Singapore Stroke Suite processes 2D brain scan images into 3D projections, highlighting areas of brain infarction and tissue at risk. It integrates a detailed 3D brain atlas to identify affected regions. An automated Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis tool predicts damage progression. A probabilistic stroke atlas based on hundreds of previous cases speeds ischemic stroke diagnosis and outcome prediction.

Key Features of the Stroke Suite

  • 1
    3-D Image Processing
    Converts 2-D brain scans into navigable 3-D projections, allowing for a comprehensive view of the brain.
  • 2
    Brain Atlas Integration
    Overlays a detailed 3-D brain atlas onto scanned images to help identify affected regions quickly.
  • 3
    Automated Analysis
    Utilizes MRI data to automate the detection and analysis of damaged brain areas.
  • 4
    Probabilistic Stroke Atlas
    Incorporates data from hundreds of stroke cases to improve diagnosis speed and predict outcomes.

The Role of Ihar Volkau

Ihar Volkau has significantly contributed to the development of advanced 3-D brain atlases. Their collaboration has resulted in detailed stereotactic and interactive models that are essential for precise brain pathology localization and diagnosis. These atlases, such as the Human Brain in 1700 Pieces, utilize high-resolution MRI data to support clinical and research applications in neuroanatomy and neuroradiology.

Vision and Results

The research team's vision is to empower patients with insights into their brain health based on advanced imaging data to make decisions impacting their quality of life. The Singapore Stroke Suite's comprehensive suite provides clinicians with extensive data visualization and analysis capabilities within seconds, far surpassing manual review of 2D scans. By accelerating assessment, it enables faster, more informed treatment decisions when time is critical for stroke care.

Benefits and Impact

The Stroke Suite is designed for quick decision-making to provide solutions within five seconds. By offering a more detailed and faster analysis, it aims to improve treatment times and patient outcomes. The software has been trial-licensed to various companies and medical institutions, with plans for a portable iPhone and iPad application, iStroke.


Innovations in stroke care highlight the importance of integrating advanced technology into medical diagnostics. The Singapore Stroke Suite represents a significant step forward in improving the speed and accuracy of stroke diagnosis and treatment, ultimately aiming to save lives and reduce the burden of stroke-related disabilities.

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