Beyond hardware: Can AI make cardiac imaging more accessible?

In the past, it’s been common practice to look to advances in CT system hardware for improvements in cardiac imaging. Innovation in hardware has helped make it possible to reach the speeds necessary to obtain high-quality cardiac images. However, hardware is rapidly reaching its physical limitations for providing the additional rotation speed for the temporal resolution needed to increase quality in cardiac exams.

The next leap in image quality for cardiac exams is being made possible by refinements in software and through AI. Fortunately, these AI advances are now found in the types of CT systems that are more accessible to a wide range of institutions, which means more patients will have the opportunity to benefit from high-quality cardiac scanning.

This is so important because coronary computed tomography angiography (coronary CTA) has become the preferred noninvasive imaging exam for the detection and rule-out of coronary artery disease (CAD), by providing an assessment of the coronary anatomy and visualization of atherosclerotic plaque to aid in detection of lesions that may limit blood flow to the myocardium. Recently updated guidelines1 affirm the value of coronary CTA for stable or atypical chest pain or other anginal symptoms, and we expect demand for CTA exams to increase.