Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Aidoc has allowed for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its product helping doctors in detection and triage of findings associated with the coronavirus, the company said in a statement.

The product is being marketed under the FDA’s enforcement policy for imaging systems during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, and has not received full clearance or approval.

Aidoc’s AI system can detect and prioritize findings from CT scans associated coronavirus. It helps prioritize patients in need of urgent care and provides supporting information to thoroughly evaluate their condition.

Aidoc’s technology already has four FDA approvals for scans to detect strokes, embolisms, cervical spine fractures and hemorrhaging.

However, as the coronavirus outbreak has spread, predictive and analytical programs have become more relevant than ever as doctors become increasingly overwhelmed by the ongoing pandemic.

This is reinforced by recent studies by the universities of Chicago, Brescia and Brussels, as well as a report from New York’s Maimonides Medical Center, which have shown that at least  8%-10% of patients that undergo CT scans for other conditions were found by the radiologists to have COVID-19 despite not exhibiting any of the associated respiratory symptoms.

Identifying these cases quickly allows doctors to isolate and treat them before their conditions worsen.

 

“In our experience, it is not unusual for the radiologist to be the first to diagnose COVID-19 disease in patients especially when the disease is clinically unsuspected. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic may occur in waves and should these waves occur, it will become increasingly important to identify imaging findings suggestive of COVID-19 in a variety of clinical settings,” said Dr. Paul Chang, vice chair of radiology informatics at University of Chicago Medicine.

“Aidoc’s ability to detect and triage patients with incidental findings associated with COVID-19 acts as another layer of protection as the disease may continue to circulate in the months to come.”