NVIDIA expands its Clara healthcare platform to help healthcare partners take on COVID-19

The expansion consists of NVIDIA Clara Parabricks computational genomics software, disease detection AI models and NVIDIA Clara Guardian application framework.
By Dean Koh
09:02 PM

NVIDIA recently announced a major expansion of its Clara healthcare platform with new software and tools to help healthcare researchers, technology solutions providers and hospitals tackle the COVID-19 pandemic faster.

The first of this expansion is the availability of NVIDIA Clara Parabricks computational genomics software via a free, 90-day license to COVID-19 researchers. The software is capable of analyzing the whole human genome DNA sequence in under 20 minutes.

NVIDIA also introduced GPU-accelerated RNA-sequencing pipelines that return results in less than 2 hours, giving researchers critical insights into patient susceptibility to disease, its progression and response to treatment.

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In addition, NVIDIA released a set of AI models that can help researchers detect and study infected patients through chest CT scan data. Jointly developed by NVIDIA’s applied research team and clinicians and data scientists at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a cooperative research and development agreement, the models used data from locations with high rates of COVID-19 infections, including China, Italy, Japan and the United States.

The AI models were built using the NVIDIA Clara application framework for medical imaging. NVIDIA Clara contains domain-specific AI training and deployment workflow tools that allowed NVIDIA and NIH to develop the models in under three weeks.

Finally, the new NVIDIA Clara Guardian application framework enables a critically needed ecosystem of AI solutions for hospital public safety and patient monitoring by transforming everyday sensors into smart sensors. Critical use cases include automated body temperature screening, protective masks detection, safe social distancing and remote patient monitoring.

THE LARGER TREND

In a HIMSS20 Digital presentation, leaders from Google Cloud, Nuance and the Health Data Analytics Institute agreed that AI and machine learning technologies are key to responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and how they can aid patients and providers. 

Healthcare technology company Cerner and Amazon Web Services also teamed up to offer researchers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic access to de-identified patient data for them to build intelligent models, which could in theory anticipate patient outcomes or help improve predictive analytics, HealthCare IT News reported

Last October, the University of California, San Francisco partnered with NVIDIA to develop new AI tools for radiology. The AI projects include brain tumor segmentation, liver segmentation and clinical deployment, leveraging NVIDIA’s Clara healthcare toolkit and the tech giant's DGX-2 AI system.

ON THE RECORD

“The COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged the collaboration of technology, research and the healthcare industry to develop new computing solutions that accelerate the understanding of the spread, scale and severity of this disease,” said Kimberly Powell, vice president of healthcare at
NVIDIA. 

“Never before has there been such a critical need to apply the best AI technology and accelerated computing to every facet of healthcare, and its effects will be felt widely beyond this pandemic and across healthcare going forward.”