Abbott UK’s artificial intelligence- (AI) powered coronary imaging platform has been offered to the first heart attack patients in the country at the Royal Free Hospital in London.

This software, known as Abbott Ultreon 1.0, combines the exiting imaging tool optical coherence tomography (OCT) with AI to enhance visualisation.

The technology is able to automatically detect the severity of calcium-based blockages and also measure vessel diameter to improve the precision of surgeon’s decision-making during coronary stenting procedures.

An additional 20 centres across the UK are set to receive the new AI software upgrade over the coming weeks to allow more cardiologists access to the technology.

Dr Sundeep Kalra, a consultant interventional cardiologist who carried out procedures using the new technology at the Royal Free Hospital, said: "We are one of the highest volume OCT centres and look forward to leading on the use of Ultreon for AI guided percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Going forward this will enable more cardiologists, thanks to the enhanced visualisation and guidance, to carry out a procedure which until now has been limited to a few specialists.”

"Increased adoption of OCT imaging, when combined with advanced technology like AI, allows cardiologists to have a more precise and measurable way of supporting patients undergoing coronary stent procedures," added Nick West, chief medical officer and divisional vice president of global medical affairs at Abbott's vascular business.

"Ultreon Software can potentially improve physician and patient experience by utilising a systematic process, reducing variability and increasing accuracy of diagnosis and application of therapies."