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Belgian initiative for AI lung scan analysis in fight against COVID-19 goes European
 
 

The Belgian initiative icovid, which supports radiologists in the assessment of CT images of the lungs of COVID-19 patients, has grown into a multicentre European project, co-funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme. icovid was set up in March by UZ Brussel, KU Leuven, icometrix and ETRO, an imec research group of VUB. Professor Jef Vandemeulebroucke of ETRO: “What started as a local project is now being rolled out in 800 hospitals in Europe and supported by excellent research centres all over Europe. With icolung, we can detect COVID-19 patients at an early stage and quantify the extent of lung lesions. Meanwhile, we are further improving the AI software to identify lung damage as COVID-19 even more quickly, and to determine the further care path of the patient faster and better through prognostic models.”

The icovid project was launched in March 2020 as a Belgian pro bono initiative. icometrix, which specialises in AI solutions for medical images, partnered with UZ Brussel, KU Leuven, VUB and imec to investigate how to deploy lung scans in the COVID pandemic and what AI software would be needed to do so. The AI tool icolung was born. Prof Johan de Mey, VUB-UZ Brussel: “At the time, there was insufficient testing capacity to quickly test all patients. With icolung, we wanted to use lung scans as a triage tool. By using CT and with the help of the AI analyses, we were able to trace patients with suspicious lung lesions and have them tested as a priority. During the busiest periods, everyone who entered the UZ Brussel as a patient was scanned, also as a means of preventing COVID-19 outbreaks in the hospital.”

icolung is free for all hospitals in Europe

 
 
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