February 20, 2020
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Yitu Healthcare responded quickly and launched an operation of multiple departments. The main R & D team sacrificed their vacations, worked around the clock for several consecutive days and finally completed the development of the Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19 in a very short period of time. The system was launched during the Chinese Spring Festival and was evolved rapidly on daily basis, assisting multiple designated treatment medical institutions and supporting doctors on the front line of COVID-19.
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Pic 1: User interface of the Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19 (Photo: Business Wire)
On February 4th, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, one of the authoritative institutions in the field of infectious diseases in China and the core unit for the treatment of COVID-19 in Shanghai, published the article “AI Aids the Scientific Prevention and Control, Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19 Launched in Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center” on its official WeChat platform. The article announced the latest results of its use of artificial intelligence technology to help doctors carry out intelligent quantitative analysis and evaluation of therapeutic effects of novel coronavirus lesions based on CT images. The following is the full text of the article.
AI Aids the Scientific Prevention and Control, Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19 Launched in Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center
Life is of paramount importance. It is our responsibility to prevent and control the epidemic. In recent days, in the face of the outbreak of COVID-19, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center has carefully organized and fully responded, and emergency work has been carried out in a comprehensive manner to ensure effective treatment of admitted patients. Nine patients have been cured and discharged in the past few days. At the same time, the center has actively joined forces from all walks of life to cooperate in scientific research on imaging diagnosis of COVID-19 using AI technology and achieved gratifying results.
Since the outbreak, Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center has been actively mobilizing all parties to use the latest technology to find new weapons and new methods to fight COVID-19. After several days of continuous efforts, on January 28th, the Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19, guided by our hospital and developed by Yitu Healthcare, was officially launched in our hospital and put into the front line clinical battle against the epidemic.
At present, one of the challenges in the prevention and control of COVID-19 is the high shortage of medical resources and the structural lack of rapid diagnosis and treatment capabilities, especially in the core epidemic areas. Due to the explosive demand for medical treatment in a short period of time, it is difficult to achieve rapid and accurate diagnosis and triage, resulting in patient congestion in some areas accompanied by panic, increased risk of cross-infection in the hospital, and incapability of medical resources to accurately match patients with different levels of illness.
Prof. Yuxin Shi, deputy director of our hospital, who guided the development of the system, said that CT imaging is one of the important diagnostic and therapeutic basis for COVID-19, and it can quickly realize the diagnosis of viral pneumonia. The system developed by Yitu Healthcare under the guidance of our hospital is the first AI imaging product in the industry to intelligently evaluate the novel coronavirus pneumonia. The system realizes intelligent diagnosis and quantitative evaluation of CT images of COVID-19 through industry-leading image algorithms, and grades the severity of various pneumonia diseases of local lesions, diffuse lesions, and whole lung involvement. Furthermore, it accurately quantifies the cumulative pneumonia load of the disease through quantitative and omics analysis of key image features such as the morphology, range, and density of the lesion, and achieves a dynamic 4D contrast of the whole lung lesions on CT, helping in clinical judgment of the condition, evaluation of the efficacy, and prediction of the prognosis.
The classification of the severity of COVID-19 and the evaluation of its efficacy are the focus of clinical attention. The quantitative evaluation method of lesions involves multiple factors such as the cumulative lung volume range and density of the lesions, and there is currently no uniform standard. In the past, the traditional manual method of ROI was used for quantitative evaluation, which usually required several hours. The efficiency was low, and the clinical promotion was difficult. Now using this new AI system can realize the automatic detection of the lesion area, and the quantitative analysis can be completed in 2-3 seconds, which greatly improves the efficiency of accurate quantitative analysis.
By comparing the results of the assessment of more than 70 cases of COVID-19 by AI with those by doctors in our hospital, it was found that the quantitative analysis of the system is similar to the evaluation results of the doctor (R = 0.87 in the correlation study, p <0.001), showing highly stable diagnostic quality. It is hoped that the birth of this system will help the country, especially the key medical institutions in the epidemic area, to improve the efficiency of quantitative diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 and contribute to the fight against the epidemic.
At the same time, in order to further facilitate the public's access to authoritative inquiry system for the epidemic prevention and control and help the general public to identify suspected cases in time, our hospital will also launch an "Intelligent Doctor Y for COVID-19 Prevention" in the near future. Through our WeChat platform, the public can perform intelligent inquiry of general knowledge of COVID-19, intelligent consultation and guidance of suspected patients, and so on, so stay tuned.
Prior to the end of the epidemic, Yitu Healthcare is willing to upgrade and deploy the COVID-19 imaging product to designated treatment hospitals for free. Doctor Y is free of charge to all medical institutions and governments at all levels.
The outbreak is fierce but there is love all over the world. Yitu Healthcare will continue to steadfastly implement its corporate commitment of “With Technology Innovation, Let Everyone Enjoy Better Healthcare Service”, actively take on social responsibilities, and use AI technology to help frontline medical staff fight against the epidemic.