Thai hospital uses computed tomography chest scan to detect COVID-19

The Digital Economy and Society Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta.

The Ministry of a Digital Economy and Society and a private firm have provided an artificial intelligence (AI) imaging solution that uses a computed tomography (CT) chest scan to detect the presence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to Siriraj Hospital.

The Digital Economy and Society Minister, Buddhipongse Punnakanta, said today his ministry and Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Company Limited had presented the CT chest scan for detection of COVID-19 to Siriraj Hospital. The medical equipment is an effective tool in detecting and analyzing diseases, and uses the fifth generation (5G) of wireless communications technology. As the current situation remains uncertain, the equipment will support the work of health care providers.

With the AI-powered CT chest scan, physicians can look for ground-glass opacities (GGOs) with or without consolidations of the lungs. The equipment will provide analytical data within two minutes and can precisely evaluate the severity of the infection. It uses information and images from some 4,000 COVID-19 patients’ lungs in China for comparison. The equipment’s diagnostic accuracy is 96 percent, and it greatly decreases the risk of medical personnel coming into contact with infected patients.

The Dean of Mahidol University’s Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Prof. Dr. Prasit Watanapa, said today that CT scanning is one of the best ways to diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients, but it has to be conducted and analyzed many times. With the AI imaging solution, it will improve the accuracy of the diagnosis and expedite the process to 25 seconds per case. This will help ease the burden on medical staff. The 5G technology will increase the efficiency of health care providers. They will be able to respond faster, follow up on the patients and collect more information. It will also improve the allocation of medical resources. (NNT)