A Groundbreaking Approach to Screening Lungs for the Coronavirus

May 28, 2020 - Baystreet.ca


The pandemic making its way around the world has created substantial for artificial intelligence. In fact, according to Wired, “A 2019 study covering 19 countries’ artificial intelligence health care markets estimated a 41.7 percent compound annual growth rate, from $1.3 billion in 2018 to $13 billion in 2025, in six major growth areas: hospital workflow, wearables, medical imaging and diagnosis, therapy planning, virtual assistants, and, lastly but most significantly, drug discovery. Covid-19 will accelerate those trends rapidly.” Such technology can also assist in spotting pandemics, and issues early.

For example, researchers at Mount Sinai Health were able to combine AI, imaging, and clinical data to detect the virus in patients, notes Healthcare IT News. In a study in Nature Medicine, researchers were able to use AI along with chest scans to diagnose patients. In addition, AI technologies have been rapidly deployed around the world to help detect the virus. That’s opening a sizable opportunity for top companies such as Patriot One Technologies Inc. (TSX:PAT)(OTCQX:PTOTF), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Health Catalyst Inc. (NASDAQ:HCAT), and IBM (NYSE:IBM).

Patriot One Technologies Inc. (TSX:PAT)(OTCQX:PTOTF) BREAKING NEWS: Patriot One Technologies Inc. wholly-owned subsidiary Xtract Technologies is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), the University of British Columbia (UBC), and SapienML among others in the development of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution to help radiologists identify the increased risk of the COVID-19 virus. The project is being led by Dr. Savvas Nicolaou and Dr. William Parker, and is supported by the UBC Community Health and Wellbeing Cloud Innovation Center (UBC-CIC), powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The UBC- CIC’s mission is to: solve real-world challenges that materially benefit British Columbia, Canada and the world, by engaging and collaborating with stakeholders in Community Health and Wellbeing innovation challenges, and make the solutions available open source globally. Additional support for the project is being provided by the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI).

Data is being used from CT and X-ray scans obtained from around the world, with annotations from a group of 14 radiologists volunteering their time. The annotators are labelling the images to segment them into three classes: background, normal lung, and Ground Glass Opacity (GGO). The percentage of lung volume affected by GGO is a leading indicator for COVID-19, and the development of an automated approach to assess this can greatly assist medical practitioners to quickly diagnose early onset of the virus.

Using these labeled images, the Xtract AI team is training innovative 3D residual networks, a particular style of AI algorithm, to automatically identify GGO volumes in the lungs and compare them with the total volume of the lungs. The ratio of affected lung, and thereby an indicator for COVID-19, in new patients can then be calculated from analyzing CT and X-ray images of their lungs. The team will continue to improve the model as more data becomes available, with the aim of achieving >90% diagnostic accuracy.

“AI models are not magic, but this model we’ve developed is an open source gift to start answering questions” said Dr. William Parker, who is leading the project, and is a radiology resident at UBC. “If we are going to get to the point of helping patients, we need to know the strengths and weaknesses of the models, and we need to have an understanding that not all models are created equal. The goal of our AI model is to drive feedback so that we can improve the model and make it available for clinical use in the fall of 2020.”

The model has been released under an open source license, to be shared with health care facilities worldwide to help early diagnosis of COVID-19 patients. Martin Cronin, CEO of Patriot One Technologies said “This is an incredibly important project, which we are proud to be a collaborator on, and we hope that our team and technology can provide a meaningful addition to the ongoing efforts to minimize COVID-19’s impact on the world.”

Other developments from around the markets include:

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. “Given the depth of the challenges so many are facing, it’s a huge privilege to be able to help at this time,” said Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet and Google. “People are relying on Google’s services more than ever and we’ve marshalled our resources and product development in this urgent moment.” “Our business, led by Search, YouTube, and Cloud, drove Alphabet revenues to $41.2 billion, up 13% versus last year, or 15% on a constant currency basis,” said Ruth Porat, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google. “Performance was strong during the first two months of the quarter, but then in March we experienced a significant slowdown in ad revenues. We are sharpening our focus on executing more efficiently, while continuing to invest in our long-term opportunities.”

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced a €3.75 million commitment to The Nature Conservancy in an effort to reduce climate change risks and increase species biodiversity in three German cities. The initial project is in Berlin’s Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district. Learnings will be applied in two other German locations, and then shared across other European cities. With this, Amazon is recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis and its impacts on urban communities. The announcement follows The Climate Pledge, the company’s commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040. Amazon’s commitment will fund The Nature Conservancy’s Urban Greening program, which uses nature-based solutions to help cities become more climate-change resilient.

Health Catalyst Inc. (NASDAQ:HCAT), a leading provider of data and analytics technology and services to healthcare organizations, reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. “Let me first take this opportunity to share that our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially those who have lost loved ones,” said Dan Burton, CEO of Health Catalyst.  “For Health Catalyst, the unprecedented challenges associated with the global spread of COVID-19 have highlighted that our mission, to be the catalyst for massive, measurable, data-informed healthcare improvement, is needed now more than ever. And to further deliver on that mission, our team members have worked tirelessly, building upon our powerful DOS platform and leveraging several of our analytics applications, to develop a series of COVID-19 specific technology and services solutions. To date, we are both grateful and honored that our heroic health system customers have trusted our technology and services expertise so meaningfully to support them in this time of great need.”

IBM (NYSE:IBM) at its Think Digital conference unveiled its list of Women Leaders in AI, recognizing 35 exceptional female business leaders from 12 countries who are using artificial intelligence to drive transformation, growth and innovation across a wide variety of industries. These leaders were chosen because they and their companies are demonstrating the power of AI to help improve business and work for their customers and employees. The annual recognition not only celebrates the honorees' accomplishments, but also creates a peer network for them to learn from each other and discover approaches for applying AI to solve pressing business challenges.  Research from a recent IBM global AI survey indicates that 34 percent of businesses surveyed across the U.S., Europe and China have adopted AI. From understanding and deriving insights from tens of millions of financial documents, to improving new employee onboarding experiences, to helping women have a better experience buying intimate apparel, these women leaders are shaping innovative AI use cases. Their AI efforts helped to increase customer satisfaction, improvements in employee retention, faster response times, significant cost savings, and more efficient processes.

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