In Focus
HEALTHCARE | Staff Reporter, Japan

Fujitsu, Tokyo Shinagawa to develop AI-supported diagnosis of COVID-19 pneumonia

The system is expected to deliver early detection of cases, even when the probablity of infection is low.

IT services provider Fujitsu and Tokyo Shinagawa Hospital has announced plans to launch a joint R&D project for AI technology to support diagnostic imaging via chest CT for COVID-19 pneumonia, Fujitsu said in a press release.

Fujitsu and Tokyo Shinagawa anticipate that the system will deliver early detection of cases of COVID-19 pneumonia based on chest CT image findings, even in cases in which the possibility of infection is determined to be low upon initial examination.

Normally, doctors make lung disease diagnoses based on the characteristics of the shadows in the lesion on the patient's chest CT image. In addition to identifying abnormalities, they visually check hundreds of chest CT images per patient to understand the three-dimensional distribution of shadows throughout the lung.

A growing demand for technologies that reduce the burden on doctors and support speedy decision-making has accompanied the spread of the novel coronavirus. It is also important to identify novel coronavirus pneumonia from a CT scan of the patient's chest if there is a low likelihood of a novel coronavirus infection during the examination and PCR testing is not performed.

In response to the need for diagnostic support, the AI-assisted diagnostic imaging technology will be developed which is slated to learn from the past CT image data at the hospital. As the AI learns from this data about the possibility of COVID-19 pneumonia, Fujitsu and Tokyo Shinagawa Hospital will work together to evaluate the effectiveness of the technology.

Fujitsu is considering the commercialisation of this technology as a healthcare solution by linking it with electronic medical record information, the press release added.

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