Using medical imaging and AI to help diagnose and manage COVID-19 patients

Case study 1 of 4 on „Digitalizing healthcare“ trends, produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit
2020-12-08
Healthcare systems are increasingly seeing a role for medical imaging with CTs or chest x-rays, in the diagnosis of COVID-19. Together with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-assisted interpretation, medical imaging can help clinicians to diagnose patients more quickly as well as manage them more appropriately.
  • The standard method for diagnosing COVID-19, the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, has limitations such as long turnaround time and a sensitivity below 100%, which can produce false negatives.
  • CT imaging provides results quickly and can improve testing accuracy when supplementing RT-PCR testing.
  • CT imaging together with AI-assisted diagnosis has the potential to work as a stand-alone diagnostic tool, making screening faster and more consistent and even detecting atypical cases.
Learn more about the benefits and details of medical imaging for the diagnosis of COVID-19, the potential of AI-assisted image interpretation and the steps to take to develop AI algorithms. This case study also looks at data-sharing initiatives and cross-institutional projects on the way, working towards a diagnostic support tool for COVID-19 based on a chest CT scan.

This article is part of a series that presents original insights and best practices based on exclusive research and interviews with global healthcare leaders, prepared and conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Healthcare delivery has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and digitalization has become a key component transforming the healthcare landscape. In order to make this digital transformation sustainable even after the pandemic, we believe that four steps are essential for building a digital healthcare enterprise. Learn more.