Professor Liming Xia, M.D.
March 31, 2020 — Lung infections generated by the coronavirus can be detected in computed tomography (CT) images. Radiologists at Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, China, had already determined this before the outbreak of the epidemic. The hospital, with 6,000 beds, was one of the first health centers in the world to equip itself with radiological artificial intelligence (AI) solutions from Infervision in 2015, and asked the company for support when the latest crisis broke out three months ago.
In close cooperation with the Zhongnan Hospital affiliated to the University of Wuhan, a specific diagnostic solution was developed and, thanks to the extensive knowledge of Infervision's engineers, implemented ultrafast with the company's own research platform InferScholar and thousands of data sets. The diagnostic system was first deployed in the emergency department and then, due to its excellent performance and accuracy, throughout the hospital. Currently, more than 30 hospitals are already using the solution.
Success at Wuhan Hospital
Professor Liming Xia, M.D., director of radiology at Wuhan Tongji Hospital and member of the editorial board of the Chinese Journal of Radiology, explained:
"Wuhan Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College affiliated to Huazhong University of Science and Technology are historic partners of Infervision. The Infervision team has done an incredible job working closely with us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to deliver a workable diagnostic solution for COVID 19 pneumonia at horrendous speed."
Liming Xia summarizes the benefits of InferRead CT Lung Covid-19 as following:
1. Reducing the risk of cross-contamination and pressure on staff: The hospitals are massively relieved. Patients wait for hours for examinations and results from overworked doctors. Artificial intelligence can help to reduce the workload and streamline the way care is provided.
2. Increase confidence in the diagnosis: By automatically measuring and quantifying the density, morphology and volume of lesions, artificial intelligence can provide an immediate and more reliable diagnosis.
3. The development of the disease can be predicted by comparing the scans: The automatic comparison of lesions helps doctors to monitor the patient's condition and development, while at the same time evaluating the effectiveness of treatments more accurately and quickly.
Growing interest in Europe
The Campus Bio-Medico University Hospital (UCBM) in Rome InferRead is the first European customer to use CT Lung Covid-19. The system was implemented in just a few hours. Now that screening and early diagnosis have become a priority for pandemic containment, UCBM is rapidly identifying potential COVID-19 patients, minimizing the risk of further infection.
The solution is capable of providing an early indication within seconds, and the entire analysis of a CT scan takes less than 50 seconds.
For data protection reasons, the system is usually installed directly in the hospital. Additionally, and especially for smaller hospitals, a cloud solution is being prepared.
Compared to other test procedures, the solution has eminent advantages:
- Early diagnosis even for infections without symptoms
- Follow-up of the disease
- Quantification of volume and density
- Independence regarding reagents, tests, laboratories and transport
- more efficient triage and thus reduced risk of infection
- high constant quality with convincing performance features
Imaging CT scan: InferRead CT Lung Covid-19 displays the focus of infection in images and calculates volume, density and prognosis. The text of the findings is also generated fully automatically to relieve the physicians.
China as a role model?
Bruno Schär, managing director of Infervision Switzerland, reports on his impressions from China in December 2019:
"I am impressed by the speed and professionalism I have seen at the People’s Hospital affliated to Peking University. Because of large number of inflow of patients, any diagnosis must be made efficiently. With the help of our AI solutions, it takes only a few minutes to use a CT room - about five times less than in Western countries. We're talking about highly efficient medicine at affordable prices. The West, it seems, still has a lot to learn in order to stop the trend of constantly rising health care costs.”
For more information: www.infervision.com