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The University of Oxford-led National Consortium of Intelligent Medical Imaging (NCIMI) in the UK is collaborating with GE Healthcare to develop and test algorithms to aid in the diagnosis and management of COVID-19 pneumonia.

The program will focus on developing, enhancing and testing potential algorithms to help diagnose COVID-19 pneumonia, predict which patients will develop severe respiratory distress - a key cause of mortality in patients who develop COVID-19 pneumonia - and which patients might develop longer term lung function problems, even when they recover from respiratory distress.

At present, clinicians cannot easily predict which patients who test positive for COVID-19 will deteriorate and require hospital admission for oxygen and possible ventilation. Nor is it clear which patients will suffer long-term consequences from the lung damage from COVID-19 pneumonia. The teams aim to develop algorithms incorporating data from thousands of patients medical imaging, laboratory and clinical observations to provide both a quicker diagnosis and a prediction of how a patient may progress and recover.

Currently, some patients admitted to hospital do not see a worsening of their symptoms, while others who appear stable can deteriorate rapidly. Identification of those patients at highest risk of deterioration and long-term lung function problems may help physicians and caregivers to accelerate intensive support. It may also allow those with lower risk to be monitored in a suitably safe environment, potentially including the patient’s home. GE Healthcare and NCIMI aim to develop tools to help in the management of these COVID-19 patients from triage to acute monitoring, interventions, to discharge and those requiring follow-up after recovery.

Read more on the University of Oxford website