BC-based Patriot One Technologies and its subsidiary, Xtract Technologies, is collaborating with Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia, among others, to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) solution to help radiologists identify the increased risk of COVID-19. CT and X-ray scans obtained from around the world are being labeled from a group of 14 radiologists 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 3D residual networks (a 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 lungs in new patients can then be calculated from analyzing CT and X-ray images of their lungs.
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 Centre. Additional support for the project is being provided by the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute. The team will continue to improve the model as more data become available, with the aim of achieving greater than 90% diagnostic accuracy. The model has been released under an open source licence, to be shared with health care facilities worldwide to help early diagnosis of COVID-19 patients.