30 Apr 2020
Royal Bolton Hospital joins forces with Qure.ai to use AI in fight against COVID-19
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust will be the first in the UK to use Qure.ai’s technology to help medics monitor COVID-19 progression in patients.
Qure.ai, a global player in artificial intelligence (AI)-driven radiology, announced that it has deployed its advanced diagnostic software at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, UK. The tool automates the interpretation of COVID-19 proliferation from chest X-rays, making it easier for healthcare professionals to monitor the extent and rate of progression of the viral infection.
Radiology has emerged as a key focus area in the fightback against the COVID-19 pandemic. The chest X-ray is the primary diagnostic tool, in conjunction with basic blood biomarkers. With many of the UK’s NHS doctors self-isolating and with some testing turnaround times currently lagging more than 24 hours, the role played by chest X-rays becomes crucial. The Royal College of Radiology recommends the use of AI in image pre-analysis to report abnormalities and alert for emergencies.
Frequent monitoring of a patient’s lung condition will help determine COVID-19’s progression. However, quantifying the extent of the infection is a time-consuming step and with the results being often inconsistent. Qure.ai’ qXR solution can detect findings that are indicative of COVID-19. It can also quantify the volume of the infection.
Fiona Noden, Chief Executive of Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The NHS needs to consider using all resources available to us as we fight against this devastating virus. I’m very proud that here in Bolton we’re taking the lead in using some of the very latest technology.”
Prashant Warier, CEO and Co-Founder, Qure.ai, said: “Our algorithm’s ability to localise, qualify the lesions and give a COVID-19 score almost instantaneously on a chest x-ray will enable doctors to classify patients into high, medium and low priority categories. The added capability of quantifying the percentage of lung affected due to COVID-19 lesions will enable objective monitoring of disease progression.”
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust provides patient care at Royal Bolton Hospital, in the community at health centres and clinics, as well as services such as district nursing and intermediate care. Royal Bolton Hospital has one of the busiest accident and emergency departments in Greater Manchester with around 115,000 attendances a year. The hospital treats over 90,000 inpatients a year. It performs more than 45,000 chest X-rays a year with 20 radiologists.