South African startup Envisionit has developed technology that can scan more than 2,000 x-rays per minute
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Spotted: Overwhelmed health teams can use all the help they can get. As COVID-19 cases continue to peak and trough in communities worldwide, other health problems are stacking up, creating backlogs of examinations and treatments. For areas that were underserved by healthcare resources before the pandemic—such as paediatric radiology in Africa—the challenges are even more severe.
Someone who knows these strains first hand is Dr. Jaishree Naidoo, a paediatric radiologist, and co-founder of Envisionit Deep AI – a medical technology company using artificial intelligence to help caregivers diagnose patients more quickly. The system the company has developed, called RADIFY, is capable of reviewing x-rays, mammograms, and ultrasounds – prioritising patient cases according to probability of illness. A medical team can easily see who is at high, intermediate, or low probability of illness and allocate time and other resources accordingly.
In February 2020, the company began working with a large hospital group in South Africa in a pilot for its RADIFY for chest programme, which has since been expanded to include a standalone tuberculosis platform. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the team repurposed the product to detect COVID-19-caused pneumonia. Now, with South African regulatory approval, and in the process of gaining UK and USA approvals, the company plans to expand use of its technology to as many healthcare teams as possible.
Other recent innovations that combine healthcare and AI include a browser based solution that tracks health through selfies, and a system that uses computer vision and AI to protect the elderly from falls.
Written by: Keely Khoury