New AI technique could soon be used to triage wounded in Ukraine

Researchers in Ukraine are working with the University of Warwick in the UK to find a faster way to sort out shrapnel injuries.
Christopher McFadden
AI robot concept image
AI robot concept image


Researchers from the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics (NURE) in Ukraine and WMG at the University of Warwick in the UK are working together to make artificial intelligence (AI) software to help doctors triage patients in Ukraine. Targeted at shrapnel victims, the process uses CT scans and AI to find patients needing immediate care who might have invisible wounds that could kill them.

"A huge problem for medics dealing with many severely injured people [simultaneously] is the rapid identification of life-threatening injuries [to] prioritize who needs emergency surgery soonest. This is why we're developing software with the team in Kharkiv to help address this issue. As well as being useful in other [emergencies] such as earthquakes, the research [applies] to doctors in trauma wards – already stretched by pressures experienced by the NHS – who need to triage patients quickly," explained Professor Mark Williams, WMG at the University of Warwick.

WMG, which is part of the University of Warwick, is a leading international example of how academia, the public sector, and the private sector can work together to advance innovation in science, technology, and engineering and grow the best minds and talent for the future.

This revolutionary field medical process is one of 33 projects currently being discussed in the UK's House of Lords to mark the first anniversary of the so-called "Twinning Initiative." This is an institution-to-institution collaboration model that allows universities around the world to support their Ukrainian counterparts in real, concrete ways. The funding comes from a grant of £5 million from Research England, which Universities UK International (UUKi) manages.

"For WMG's part of the project, we will be creating phantom models using 3D imaging – replicas of human anatomy and shrapnel wounds. These will act as 'test objects', which experts in computer science can use to calibrate their technology and AI program," added Professor Williams.

"It is very exciting to be able to bring our expertise in Additive Manufacture at WMG to deliver a rapid solution to such an important humane need, allowing us to truly exploit the incredible advantages in speed of response and material complexity offered by this technology," he added.

Successive UK governments have pointed to WMG as the best example of how academia, the public, and the private sector can work together well. A £179k grant from UUKi is used to finance the WMG-specific research.

"We thank our partner Warwick University for supporting us in joint research activities. Within this project, NURE and Warwick University will be able to solve [significant] problems. We believe that the practical results of these projects will demonstrate significant impact and innovation solutions for society, said Anastasiya Chupryna, project supervisor for the Radio Electronics-Warwick Allied Research and Development (REWARD) project at NURE.

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