While the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, having resurgences throughout the world following its initial outbreak, case number growth and overall death totals are largely stabilizing. As the fall rapidly approaches, health professionals concerned about a second wave are taking the opportunity to leverage tools offered by Healthcare equipment manufacturers for easier identification and treatment of symptoms. Time is of the essence in regards to COVID-19 treatment, and the faster radiologists can read the 1.44 billion imaging exams that are produced each year (a number only expected to rise), the more likely a full recovery can be made.
To address this need, GE Healthcare has stepped up to the plate by offering its new Thoracic Care Suite. According to GE, this system is a collection of eight artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms from Lunit INSIGHT CXR that have the ability to quickly analyze chest x-ray findings and automatically detect abnormalities such as tuberculosis and pneumonia — both of which are responsible for a large number of COVID-related deaths. With this enhanced expediency of diagnosis, hospitals can also more effectively manage hospital capacity, an issue of particular concern in the early months of the pandemic.
The artificial intelligence required to analyze such data is nothing short of extraordinary. “The beauty of AI is in its ability to process vast data and come up with a pattern — a task that has its limits to humans in terms of time and energy,” said Brandon Suh, CEO of Lunit. “With proper guidance and control, AI can show superhuman abilities, conducting tasks accurately and efficiently, even perform tasks that go beyond human level such as predicting treatment response and outcomes, etc. We believe this technology can open a new door of medical practice.”
“The launch of our Thoracic Care Suite is a part of GE Healthcare’s larger effort to help ensure clinicians and partners on the front lines have the equipment they need to quickly diagnose and effectively treat COVID-19 patients,” said Kieran Murphy, President and CEO of GE Healthcare. “For GE Healthcare, that means continuing to advance intelligent health and providing innovative technologies. This new offering is the latest example of how X-ray and AI can uphold the highest standard of patient care amidst the most modern of disease threats.”
Through this collaboration between GE Healthcare and Lunit, both parties hope that this is only the first step in making AI-based products commercially available to healthcare providers across the world — and to save additional lives threatened by COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.