Quick Hits: Hospitals Use AI to Diagnose Coronavirus

Technology used to detect cancer has been retooled to look for signs of Covid-19.

A recent WIRED article talked about the measures being used to diagnose and combat the coronavirus outbreak in China. Hospitals have had to scramble to find new ways to diagnose, treat, and contain the virus that has significantly affected cities in China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Khongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China is at the center of the outbreak and has begun using artificial intelligence software to detect visual signs of pneumonia linked to Covid-19.

The software helps the staff screen patients and prioritize those likely to have the virus so that they can be examined further and tested. The software, which was developed by Beijing startup Infervision, has been deployed at 34 hospitals in China and has already reviewed over 32,000 patients. Infervision’s staff in Beijing worked through the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday to adjust their pneumonia detection algorithms to specifically identify Covid-19 pneumonia. It will eventually need formal approval from China’s National Medical Product Administration, but for now the priority is helping doctors tend to patients in need.

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