UK and Ukraine partnership develops AI to treat people wounded by shrapnel

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Researchers in the UK and Ukraine are teaming up to develop artificial intelligence (AI) that will help treat those wounded by shrapnel.

Scientists at WMG at the University of Warwick and the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics (NURE) in Ukraine are developing AI software that will help medics understand which patients require immediate treatment, due to life-threatening wounds that might not be obvious with the naked eye. The state-of-the-art technology enables users to feed data from a CT scan to a computer programme, which will help medics make quick decisions on which of the injured require most immediate treatment.

The project is one of 33 being discussed at the House of Lords, to mark the one-year anniversary of the Twinning initiative – an institution-to-institution collaboration model which allows universities around the world to support their Ukrainian counterparts in real, concrete ways. It is funded by a £5m grant from Research England, administered by Universities UK International (UUKi).

A huge problem for medics dealing with many severely injured people at the same time is the rapid identification of life-threatening injuries so they can prioritise 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 emergency situations such as earthquakes, the research is also applicable to doctors in trauma wards – already stretched by pressures experienced by the NHS – who need to triage patients quickly.

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 programme.

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."

Professor Mark Williams, WMG at the University of Warwick

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

WMG is considered the leading international role model for successful collaboration between academia and the public and private sectors by successive UK Governments. The WMG specific research is funded by a £179k grant from UUKi.

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