AI Business is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Health & Pharma

Canadian researchers are exploring AI for COVID-19 diagnosis

by Chuck Martin
Article Image

Studying ultrasound images for patterns that human eyes might have missed

Researchers at Lawson Health Research Institute are exploring whether an AI-based system for lung scans can be used to diagnose COVID-19.

The trials, being conducted at London Health Sciences Center (LHSC) in Ontario, Canada, involve comparing the patterns of COVID-19 patient lung ultrasound with those of patients with other types of lung infections.

Here's hoping

“Machines are able to find patterns that humans cannot see or even imagine,” Robert Arntfield, Lawson researcher and medical director of the Critical Care Trauma Center at LHSC, said in a statement. “Lung ultrasound scans of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia produce a highly abnormal imaging pattern, which isn’t unique to COVID-19 and can be seen in other causes of pneumonia.  It is plausible that there are details that distinguish COVID-19 at the pixel level that cannot be perceived by the human eye."

The researchers are attempting to train the neural network to identify unique characteristics in different scans and apply AI to “enhance the diagnostic power of portable ultrasound.”

Ultrasonography, or ultrasound, at point-of-care, is commonly used in emergency departments and intensive care units to diagnose infections and illnesses such as pneumonia.

The COVID-19 project coincided with the recent creation of a clinical AI working group at Lawson.

“Our research team has used AI to help improve diagnostics related to other parts of the body,” Dr. Arntfield said.

AI Business has previously reported on projects aiming to improve COVID-19 diagnostics by applying image recognition to X-rays and computer tomography (CT) scans.

Practitioner Portal - for AI practitioners


Shaping AI and analytics services


AI and analytics teams must market themselves – and they have to have a clear service strategy


UK's ICO publishes guidance on AI and data protection


The document aims to help organizations mitigate the risks of using personal data in AI applications

Practitioner Portal


More EBooks

Upcoming Webinars

More Webinars

Experts in AI

Partner Perspectives

content from our sponsors

Research Reports

More Research Reports


AI tops the list of most impactful emerging technologies

Infographics archive

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up