All of which is for starters – there’s now even an internet based voice test you can take to assess whether or not your infected, although it’s still in trials. Now researchers at the University of Waterloo have announced they’ve partnered with a US based startup to use AI to improve COVID-19 screening, and they’ve just released software that can quickly detect COVID-19 infections from chest X-Rays.
“This software has had promising initial results,” said Alexander Wong, a systems design engineering professor and director of the Vision and Image Processing (VIP) Lab at Waterloo. “We hope that by making this software open, we can attract clinicians and scientists far and wide to improve upon the technology.”
Wong launched the COVID-Net project in conjunction with DarwinAI, a Waterloo startup, this week. The latter, an AI assisted X-Ray screening method is meant to augment the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab tests now in short supply in many areas of the world on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Chest radiography can be conducted quickly and is relatively low-cost and widely available. It is already used by several countries to complement PCR tests,” said Wong. “Augmenting it with AI to improve screening accuracy could have a lot of value.”
In addition to their software the team have also developed a dataset and a scientific paper on their work publicly available on GitHub.
“Our hope is that COVID-Net will be used and built upon by clinicians, researchers, and citizen data scientists,” said Wong, who is also a founding member of the Waterloo Artificial Intelligence Institute. “Ideally, this tool will allow us to accelerate the global use and development of effective, radiography-based COVID-19 screening solutions and treatment of those who need it the most.”
To develop their screening tool, the researchers used public sources to compile a dataset of almost 6,000 chest radiography images from nearly 3,000 patients.
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