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Covid-19 AI diagnostics app for respiratory pathology detection

Adnan Kayyali

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Covid-19 AI diagnostics app for respiratory pathology detection

Covid-19 AI diagnostics app is being deployed to identify pathologies in patient’s lungs to help detect covid-19.  This helps determine the patient’s triage, or degree of severity and priority of treatment, after CT scan, which classifies the many respiratory-related cases doctors are wading through with much greater efficiency and accuracy.

The categorization of cases by severity will help reduce the pressure on emergency care units, and better allocate medical resources with the implementation of the Covid-19 AI diagnostics.

This support product was approved by Health Sciences Authority as a result of collaboration by lung specialists, engineers and clinicians. BioMind, an award-winning AI company offering solutions in healthcare, hopes to scale its solution all over Asia, Europe, and the US, given the crisis the world is currently facing, says Raymond Moh, CEO of BioMind. He adds that the Covid-19 AI diagnostics app will help equip healthcare workers and assist them in combating the lung virus.

The BioMind application also uses deep learning techniques courtesy of Hanalytics, a medical AI company also responsible for the product. The data-driven solution takes diagnosis from many CT scans with confirmed Covid-19 cases, and uses the data predicatively to assist physicians in recognizing the disease, and accelerates the analysis, diagnosis and report writing.

The Covid-19 AI diagnostics app has been deployed in about 150 hospitals that use CT scans to confirm the virus. Chief radiologist at Hôpitaux Robert Schumann hospital (HRS) in Luxembourg, Dr Niedercorn, supports the adoption of these technologies. He says that the algorithm not only helps detect Covid-19 lung damage, but can quantitatively assess the lung volumes affected, as well as monitor the development of the damage over time.

The development in understanding and management of the effects of the virus, will undoubtedly, make a difference to medical communities across the world and those affected by the pandemic. The deployment of artificial intelligence as a tool, could save many lives – advancing preventative measures in the future through rigorous reporting and analysis of aggregated data.

Junior social media strategist with a degree in media and communication. Technology enthusiast and free-lance writer. Favorite hobby: 3D modeling.

MedTech

New COVID-19 test using T Cells

Mounir Jamil

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New COVID-19 test using T Cells

Indoor Biotechnologies, a global immunodiagnostics and biotechnology company based in Cardiff in the UK, was recently awarded funding from Innovate UK to develop a COVID-19 test using T cells. Successfully identifying individuals that have already been infected and have immunity would allow society to safely return to normal. In addition, reliable testing methods are needed since the symptoms of COVID-19 vary from person to person, with some not even displaying symptoms.

A potential method for a COVID-19 test is done by searching for specific antibodies in the blood samples. Several antibody tests are available, but doubts are present regarding the reliability of knowing if a person has gained immunity.

Long-term protection from viruses doesn’t only come from antibodies, but also from other cells of the immune system such as T cells, that play a vital role in eradicating and controlling viral infections. The latest test proposed by Indoor Biotechnologies focuses on the T cells rather than antibodies. If it is successful, the COVID-19 test or Simple Cellular Immunity Test (SCIT) will be able to identify the presence of T cells that cause COVID-19 from a single tube of blood and within 24 hours. 

This method has the ability to be more sensitive and more reliable at determining immunity than antibody testing. In order to validate this, it will be tested on individuals that already carried the virus and have developed antibodies. The COVID-19 test is also very valuable during vaccine development in order to help identify whether an adequate immune response has been created to protect people against coronavirus, and for testing how long the immune response lasts.

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COVID-19 screening app that analyzes breathing, coughing and voice patterns

Adnan Kayyali

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COVID-19 screening app that analyzes breathing, coughing and voice patterns

Novoic, a startup founded by Oxford and Cambridge researchers, is developing a COVID-19 screening app that can screen people for COVID-19 by listening to the sound of their cough, aptly named “Coughvid”. The company that previously used speech analysis technology to detect cognitive impairments and diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, is now turning its attention to COVID-19.

The app works by recording a person’s coughing, breathing, voice patterns and analyzes them using a machine learning algorithm. Additionally, the app collects users’ demographic and medical history data and asks if a participant has been tested for COVID-19.

Currently the COVID-19 screening app has only a 70% accuracy rate, but the developers are far from done. To ‘teach’ the AI, Novoic will ask 1 million volunteers to “donate their cough” so the algorithm can be refined into a reliable screening process to distinguish between infected and non-infected coughs more decisively

“Different people’s voices of course sound different from each other, including when they’re healthy,” explains Emil Fristed, co-founder and CEO of Novoic. “To build accurate algorithms that work for everyone, we need a lot of data, which is why we are calling upon the public to step forward. If we capture enough cough sounds, we believe this could be the answer to cheap, accessible testing.

Due to the lack of respiratory sound data sets available to researchers, collecting these samples may help further diagnostic research beyond COVID-19. “The data will be stored on University servers and be used solely for research purposes,” said Cambridge University.

To assure those with fears of privacy and data security, the company said that user locations will only be known when actively using the app.

The researchers say however that the COVID-19 screening app is not a substitute for a medical exam. It is made to bolster the capabilities of mass testing in a non-intrusive, social distancing- friendly way.

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MedTech

COVAX Facility – 75 Countries, 1 Team

Mounir Jamil

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COVAX Facility - 75 Countries, 1 Team (1)

So far, about 75 countries and nations have expressed an increased interest in protecting their own populations and those of other nations by joining the COVAX Facility, a newly designed mechanism that ensures rapid, equitable, and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines all around the world.

The 75 countries will be financing the vaccines from their own public finance budgets, and will be partnering with up with 90 lower income countries that could benefit greatly from voluntary donations to Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC). Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, mentioned that COVAX Facility is the only truly global solution for the current pandemic.  

The goal of the COVAX Facility is to deliver two billion doses of effective, safe vaccines that have succeeded in regulatory approval and/or WHO prequalification. The vaccines are set to be divided equally amongst participating countries, proportional to their populations. The COVAX Facility will also have extra doses for emergency and humanitarian use, including dealing with severe outbreaks before they spiral out of control. 

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