Vendors debut AI X-ray system for COVID-19, give it away for free
Technology vendors Thirona and Delft Imaging have launched CAD4COVID. This new artificial-intelligence tool analyzes X-ray images and is intended to support healthcare specialists managing COVID-19 cases. The companies have made the tool available free of charge in support of the crisis.
Thirona and Delft Imaging are partnering with several hospitals and academic medical institutions worldwide to validate CAD4COVID.
WHY IT MATTERS
Delft Imaging specializes in tuberculosis screening, and, with its existing CAD4TB system, which uses artificial intelligence to screen for TB, more than six million people have been screened in more than 40 countries.
Together with its sister company and AI-specialist Thirona, Delft Imaging developed a tool to help triage COVID-19 cases and indicate the affected lung tissue. CAD4COVID builds on the technical core of the CAD4TB software, developed and distributed by Thirona and Delft Imaging, respectively.
Preferred tools in the detection of COVID-19 are the RT-PCR test and the CT scan, but in resource-constrained settings where the availability of such tools is limited and where COVID-19 is highly prevalent, an X-ray can be a useful tool in the fight against COVID-19. In many countries, X-rays are currently used as first-line triage before any further testing.
The academic medical institutions and hospitals the vendors have partnered with will help with the development and validation of the software to support healthcare professionals in these times of crisis. The two companies aim to continuously improve the CAD4COVID software as more partners sign up.
THE LARGER TREND
Healthcare technology and services vendors have been mobilizing to deploy solutions aimed at reducing the strain on healthcare practitioners as the outbreak continues, among them IntelyCare, which launched free virtual nurse training for COVID-19.
Orion Health released a remote patient-monitoring platform to combat COVID-19, which allows for the engagement of patients in their homes and facilitates communication between quarantined people and healthcare providers.
Alphabet’s Verily launched a website where California residents can complete a short survey regarding their current condition and, if they meet certain criteria, could be referred to a nearby mobile COVID-19 testing site.
ON THE RECORD
“Tuberculosis still takes the lives of 1.6 million people every year; it is incredibly challenging to tackle, especially as it is most active in low-resource settings where there is limited infrastructure,” said Guido Geerts, CEO of Delft Imaging and Thirona, in a statement. “Our breadth of experience in such settings has made us very concerned about the implications that COVID-19 can have on countries where healthcare infrastructure is already under pressure.”