Baguio General Hospital to use AI technology for coronavirus detection

MANILA, Philippines – The Baguio General Hospital installed the Artificial Intelligence COVID-19 Scan Analyzer on Monday, March 23 to help doctors detect COVID-19 cases using the CT scan of the patients. 

Dr. Ricardo B. Runes, Jr, BGH director, said that the application, a technology introduced by Huawei Company in China, will have the CT scans of patients compared to the database of positive COVID-19 cases examined by doctors in China, where the novel coronavirus originated. The n-CoV 19 was first detected in the city of Wuhan in December last year.

“The AI will determine the specific findings in the CT scan if there are similarities with those in China,” Runes said.

Baguio City's first COVID-19 patient is a 61-year-old Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who came from Italy, now the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Baguio City Mayor  Benjie Magalong said that the technology transfer will be the first of its kind in the country.

“For the past two days, our city through our Management Information and Technical Division (MITD)  under Executive Asst. V Philip Puzon has been working together with the technical team of Huawei and Baguio doctors to set up the system in BGH. It will be the first of its kind in the country," Magalong said, adding that the technology is given for free.

On Monday, Magalong inspected the AI CT Scan System, expressing hope that this would be “up and running by Monday or Tuesday.”

The AI analyzer takes only 2 minutes, compared to the current screening test kits that take 4 to 5 days, Magalong said.

The AI analyzer’s results are “not conclusive and confirmatory but will give the city a heads-up on whether or not a patient is a probable COVID-19 case,” the mayor added.

TECHNOLOGY. Photos show results from the artificial intelligence- assisted CT scan analyzer, which could indicate the probability of a coronavirus infection.

Photo from Huawei

In a statement, Huawei said it has developed an AI-assisted version of the CT scan, producing accurate results in less time and with less manpower. 

The AI technology, known as Huawei Cloud, can automatically scan for lesions in a matter of seconds and without needing as much legwork.

The Huawei Cloud can scan images multiple times to increase diagnosis efficiency. According to Huawei, Huawei Cloud uses Ascend AI chips to accomplish this task. –