Advocate Lutheran General Hospital this month started using artificial intelligence software that can detect and initiate treatment for stroke far faster than usual, becoming the first hospital in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana to do so.

The hospital launched a mobile software platform, built by San Francisco based, to reduce the time it takes to detect a stroke.

Viz can reduce the time needed to triage, diagnose and begin treating a stroke from an hour to six minutes. The platform relies on a computer algorithm to analyze brain scans and identify strokes caused by blockages in major arteries.

Patients are immediately triaged directly to a stroke specialist, who is alerted to view the scans from their mobile device anytime, anywhere. A multidisciplinary team, consisting of nurses, technicians, anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists and more, will connect and converse in real-time via the Viz app with continued updates on the patient’s status.

Close supervision is still required, and radiologists will continue to analyze the scans, but the artificial intelligence will significantly increase a patient’s chances of a good outcome and provide the highest level of interpretation.

Time is critical to minimize the damage a stroke can cause: A person suffering a stroke can lose two million brain cells per minute while awaiting treatment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S., and stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability.

“When it comes to stroke care, every second counts. This technology will allow our team to deliver lifesaving care much more swiftly and efficiently,” says Dr. Demetrius Lopes, director of the Stroke Program at Advocate Health Care. “As a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Advocate Lutheran General is well positioned to adopt as part of our comprehensive neurological stroke treatment program.”

The computer-aided triage technology will be used by Advocate Aurora Health’s entire 28-hospital system by early 2020 as part of its unwavering commitment to providing immediate care to patients experiencing acute strokes. Advocate Aurora will become the largest hospital network uniting the skills of doctors across the two states.