Researchers from Edith Cowan University have developed software that can analyze abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) from bone density machine scans at a rapid rate, with approximately 60,000 images in a single day. AAC is a calcification within the abdominal aorta that predicts the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, falls, fractures, and late-life dementia.

The software’s efficiency will be crucial for the widespread use of AAC in research and routine clinical practice for early disease detection and monitoring. While the software’s accuracy still needs improvement, it showed promising results, with an 80% agreement with expert readings and the ability to identify individuals with high AAC levels and greater disease risk.

The software’s potential for large-scale screening in cardiovascular disease and other conditions before symptoms appear could enable individuals at risk to make lifestyle changes earlier. The Heart Foundation provided funding for the project. Although further advancements are needed, the software’s capabilities have significant implications for identifying high-risk individuals and promoting better health outcomes.

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