Ping An’s COVID-19 Smart Image Reading System speeds up diagnoses and treatment

The system’s AI analysis engine can conduct a comparative analysis of multiple CT scan images of the same patient and measure the changes in lesions.
By Dean Koh
03:30 am
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Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd (Ping An) launched its COVID-19 smart image-reading system on February 19, which was  developed by Ping An Smart Healthcare, the smart health care team of subsidiary Ping An Smart City. The system assists doctors with efficient and accurate diagnoses by leveraging Ping An’s AI tech, which could help control the epidemic through earlier diagnoses and treatment.

HOW IT WORKS

The Nucleic Acid Test (NAT) had been regarded as the major reference for COVID-19 diagnoses. However, the use of NAT requires long detection times and may lead to a high proportion of negative cases, which may result in some patients missing the crucial window for early treatment or quarantine.

Computed Tomography (CT) images have been used by many doctors for diagnosis but there is a lack of radiologists in the epidemic areas to review the sheer volume of CT imaging. This is where Ping An’s COVID-19 smart image-reading system can close the gap. Ping An Smart Healthcare used clinical data to train the AI model of the COVID-19 smart image-reading system.

The system’s AI analysis engine can conduct a comparative analysis of multiple CT scan images of the same patient and measure the changes in lesions. It helps doctors to track the development of the disease, evaluate the treatment and have prognosis of patients, ultimately it assists doctors to diagnose, triage and evaluate COVID-19 patients swiftly and effectively.

Ping An Smart Healthcare’s COVID-19 smart image-reading system also supports AI image-reading remotely by medical professionals outside the epidemic areas.

BENEFITS

According to a Ping An spokesperson, medical institutions/centers such as the Wuhan Dongxihu District Jinyinhu Health Center and Wuhan Dongxihu District General Road Community Health Service Center have been using the system. Both centers used the system to upload finished CT films to Wuhan Dongxihu District People’s Hospital for diagnosis. 

As of March 4, 140 patients from the above-mentioned health centers have benefitted from the use of  COVID-19 Smart Image-Reading System and the number is growing.

THE LARGER TREND

Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and Shanghai-based AI startup Yitu Healthcare also co-developed an AI-powered Intelligent Evaluation System of Chest CT for COVID-19, MobiHealthNews reported. By using this new AI system, the detection of the lesion area can be done automatically and the quantitative analysis can be completed in 2-3 seconds.

While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have reduced greatly in China (40 confirmed cases on March 8 as announced by the National Health Commission), WHO said on March 7 that the global number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus has surpassed a worrying 100,000. 

ON THE RECORD

“Patients with COVID-19 need multiple CT scans during the treatment. Comparing multiple images is a time-consuming task and it cannot be accurately completed manually. Utilizing Ping An Smart Healthcare’s COVID-19 smart image-reading system, it can effectively improve the diagnostic accuracy and the doctor's image-reading efficiency,” said Dr. Xiao Jing, Chief Scientist of Ping An in a statement. 

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Above photo: A SMART AMR IRG researcher optimizing prototype assay.
Credit: Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART)

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