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The Tel Aviv-based imaging startup is rolling out an AI-powered triaging tool that helps radiologists detect patients who have likely been infected with the novel coronavirus by analyzing CT scans of their lungs, according to MedCity News. The startup launched the solution after the FDA issued guidelines that permit companies with cleared triaging tools to broaden their coverage to include the novel coronavirus. For context, Aidoc has an FDA-cleared triaging tool to detect pulmonary embolism.
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Aidoc’s screening tool could help identify coronavirus cases that would otherwise go undiagnosed — which could help target asymptomatic carriers and halt the spread of the virus. While the American College of Radiology has advised against using CT scans to test patients for the coronavirus in the US, Aidoc’s tool could compliment and aid radiologists in their clinical decision making.
Rather than making a diagnosis, Aidoc’s solution analyzes lung CT scans and flags likely cases of the coronavirus for review by radiologists. By leveraging Aidoc’s triage tool, radiologists can identify patients who are being screened for conditions unrelated to the coronavirus as likely having contracted the virus, despite not showing symptoms. Identifying cases of the novel coronavirus that may have otherwise gone undetected will be paramount in helping to contain the highly contagious virus, considering asymptomatic carriers can unknowingly accelerate its spread.
AI-focused healthcare firms secured much-needed funding in Q1 2020 — and we expect to see investments in AI-centered healthcare startups grow as the tech increasingly proves its value. AI-centered healthcare startups raised almost $1 billion in funding in the first quarter of 2020, up from the nearly $720 million they secured in Q4 2019, per a new CB Insights report cited by STAT. This funding windfall underscores AI’s potential to drive advancements in healthcare, with use cases ranging from predictive analytics to optimizing healthcare organizations’ operations.
With the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating the stress of already overburdened healthcare workers and highlighting the necessity for providers to be able to efficiently triage the swarms of coronavirus patients flocking to hospitals across the US, AI-powered solutions could be instrumental in mitigating the pandemic’s overall impact on the US healthcare system.
So, we think AI-powered solutions will gain investment interest amid the pandemic — and heightened interest during the pandemic will generate increased investments in AI-focused healthcare startups once outbreaks subside and providers can refocus their attention on tapping into tech that can help improve their bottom lines. And we think investing in AI tools will be an attractive proposition, considering the tech can be critical in reducing clinicians’ administrative burden and augmenting providers’ clinical decision making, among other high-impact use cases.
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