Huiying Medical: Helping Combat COVID-19 with AI Technology

Huiying Medical has developed a medical imaging diagnostic solution powered by Intel AI technology that can help detect early stage COVID-19.

AUTHOR: Xu Cheng

The COVID-19 coronavirus, since its initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, has quickly become a global pandemic, as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO). The number of confirmed cases has exceeded 577,531 globally as of March 27, 2020 and will continue to rise in the days and weeks ahead. The rapid increase in coronavirus cases and the inadequate amount of lab tests available for people suspected of infection have posed serious risks to public health and efforts in containing the virus. Simply put, it’s challenging for healthcare professionals and government officials to allocate resources and stop the spread of the virus without knowing who is infected, where they are located, and how they are affected.

The standard testing method for coronavirus is RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction); however, this test is not yet readily available in many parts of the world or in some cases can produce false negative results. In this time of emergency while people are still learning much about this virus, Intel® AI Builders member Huiying Medical has developed a medical imaging diagnostic solution that uses CT chest scans to assist with early detection of coronavirus infections that complement standard lab testing. According to recently published online research in Radiology, Huiying Medical’s results support the use of chest CT for screening of patients that demonstrate symptoms of COVID-19 infection, particularly when RT-PCR testing is negative.

Figure 1: AI-assisted Screening System for COVID-19. Image courtesy of Huy.

Through its partnership with hospitals in China, Huiying Medical developed algorithms based on CT imaging data from over 4000 confirmed coronavirus cases and rolled out its AI-assisted screening system to more than 20 hospitals in China that are in the front line of battling the disease in real time.

While the CT scan result by itself is not conclusive in determining coronavirus infection, Huiying’s AI-assisted screen system plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment process. The AI solution analyzes the ground-glass opacity (GGO) and other indicators revealed in the CT imagery and provides a probability of suspected infection for doctors and specialists to conduct further testing and more importantly to isolate the suspected individual out of the transmission chain. Huiying Medical’s solution helps doctors make diagnosis quickly and more accurately to prevent infected patients from spreading the virus to others and at the same time provide treatment to the ill. China’s practices and experience have clearly shown that containment is critical in this battle against coronavirus due to the highly infectious nature of the disease.

Huiying Medical’s AI-powered CT imaging solution can be deployed in the cloud or on premise and is able to achieve as high as 96% accuracy rate in classification of Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP). Combined with the computing power provided by Intel processors and AI neural network models, it only takes 2-3 seconds to process a CT study with 500 images. Huiying Medical is actively reaching out to health professionals and institutions in other countries to share their solution and findings to join global efforts in the fight against the pandemic.

Figure 2: AI-assisted Screening System for COVID-19 in deployment in over 20 hospitals. Image courtesy Huiying Medical.

Huiying Medical’s AI solution is also enabling and accelerating medical research by healthcare professionals on the CT imaging features of the coronavirus. The collaboration between Huiying Medical and healthcare institutions have produced several research papers published in Radiology that highlighted the latest findings of the role that CT scan plays in diagnosis of the coronavirus.

As the world is combating the coronavirus pandemic, it is critical for AI technology companies to join forces with the healthcare industry to defeat this disease as quickly as possible. It’s a race against time for the health of people. The Intel AI Builders Program salutes and supports our partner Huiying Medical’s efforts in confronting the challenge with innovation and collaboration. To learn more, visit Huiying Medical’s solutions page on the Intel AI Builders site.

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