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AI Software Gets Mixed Reviews for Tackling Coronavirus

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A scan of lung tissue.

Artificial intelligence software adds red boxes to computed tomography scans of a COVID-19 patient in Russia, to show where the virus had manifested in the lungs.

Credit: The Moscow Diagnostics and Telemedicine Center

Artificial intelligence (AI) software used by hospitals to help diagnose and evaluate COVID-19 has drawn mixed reviews.

AI companies have claimed 96% or higher accuracy in detecting COVID-19 in lung scans, but researchers doubt that accuracy can be replicated in real-world conditions, since the algorithms are trained on scans from patients who did not necessarily have COVID-19.

San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, has been trying AI software from three different vendors to help assess X-rays and CT scans. Researchers immediately found errors in one system, which made the disease look worse than it was.

“The problem is this software has been built … not for COVID, but for tuberculosis,” said Francesco De Cobelli, head of radiology at the hospital. The system was retrained using hundreds of X-rays of COVID- 19 patients, and the issue has been fixed.

From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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