Published 07 May 2020

Can AI and radiographs help in resource-poor areas for the fight against COVID-19?


Back's AI-powered tool, qXR, has successfully been repurposed to aid in detecting and monitoring COVID-19 progression using chest X-rays (CXRs). This advanced technology has been validated on a test set of 11,479 CXRs, including 515 PCR-confirmed COVID-19 cases, with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.9, making it a promising tool in triage and ongoing monitoring of infected patients.
The tool is currently in use at over 28 global sites, where it assists in patient management amid an overwhelming demand for diagnostic resources. Apart from detecting the virus, qXR also uniquely quantifies the region affected by the infection, allowing for better monitoring of disease progression and response to treatment.
With the potential to complement existing PCR tests, qXR provides a valuable tool in settings with limited diagnostic resources. The AI-powered device can rapidly and extensively support population screening, especially when clinical suspicion of COVID-19 is high. As the world races to contain the virus, AI advancements like qXR could prove instrumental in managing the pandemic and relieving pressure on healthcare systems.

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