Tokyo, May 25, 2020
NTT DATA, a leading IT services provider, and its Indian partner firm DeepTek Inc.1 (“DeepTek”) have launched an initiative at the Ruby Hall Clinic2 in India to utilize a diagnostic imaging support solution based on AI technology to aid in diagnosing cases of COVID-193.
This solution uses AI technology to analyze a patient’s medical images in order to assist doctors with their diagnoses, while also enhancing the efficiency of triage and other management practices. The system builds on existing technology to provide support for COVID-19 diagnoses using the same diagnostic process. NTT DATA and DeepTek are supporting COVID-19 diagnoses through a PoC (Proof of Concept) assessment at a medical care provider.
Research and development for diagnostic support using AI, as well as proof-of-concept experiments, are currently being conducted to address the global shortage of radiologists, who use medical images such as X-rays and CT scans to diagnose diseases. NTT DATA has previously conducted such PoC assessments at hospitals around the world.
As COVID-19 becomes a global issue, pneumonia is being diagnosed with X-rays and CT scans as an auxiliary means of testing. The PoC trial begun at the hospital in India will demonstrate the effectiveness of such diagnostic imaging based on NTT DATA’s technology.
NTT DATA has developed an AI-based diagnostic imaging algorithm (system) that uses actual medical images of COVID-19 patients, based on algorithms to detect a variety of lung ailments using existing imaging analysis techniques. This system compares the medical image to be examined against a healthy sample, and indicates areas of possible abnormality on the medical image and with text. This enhances the diagnostic work of radiologists using X-rays and CT scans, aiding the diagnosis by a doctor. Specifically, the system highlights on the screen the areas it has identified in yellow or white (Fig. 1), and outputs text describing what it has identified. In addition, by supporting the overall diagnostic workflow of doctors, such as issuing an alert to the patient list (Fig. 2), the system is also expected to provide general support for doctors to determine the status of COVID-19 infections.
Fig. 1: Samples of COVID-19 AI-based diagnostic images
Fig. 2: Supporting the overall workflow, including AI-based diagnostic imaging
Going forward, NTT DATA and DeepTek will begin providing this service in India and Asia-Pacific countries, and examine the possibility for market development in Japan. Through this service, NTT DATA will provide a solution to strengthen the structures for medical institutions in various countries, reduce the burden on doctors, and improve diagnostic processes at hospitals. Further, NTT DATA will also work to develop the infrastructure for large-scale adoption, such as consortiums and shared platforms, in order to support the creation of a cooperative structure with more medical institutions and increase the volume of training data (medical images) to enhance the precision of AI analysis.
DeepTek Inc., headquartered in India, is a startup firm that provides AI-based medical image diagnostic solutions and remote radiographic image interpretation services. NTT DATA has invested in the company, and is strengthening cooperation.
Ruby Hall Clinic is a large-scale general hospital in Pune, India, operated with support from the Grant Medical Foundation. The facility has 750 beds, with teams of more than 250 doctors conducting more than 10,000 medical imaging scans each month.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
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