Philips Foundation: Deployment of AI software to 11 South African hospitals

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Philips Foundation has successfully implemented artificial intelligence (AI) software, developed by Delft Imaging, in 11 South African hospitals to help triage and monitor COVID-19 patients via X-ray imaging. Delft Imaging’s AI-based CAD4COVID software, which complements existing COVID-19 diagnostic technologies, estimates the severity and progression of COVID-19 disease based on routinely available chest X-rays.

Free to use, CAD4COVID has been developed to support COVID-19 patient triaging in resource-constrained settings and high-prevalence areas. The technology is based on the same technical core as Delft Imaging’s CAD4TB tuberculosis (TB) detection software, which has contributed to screening 6m people for TB worldwide.

Philips Foundation recognised the solution’s ability to alleviate the burden on healthcare facilities that lack the resources to cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients, as well as its ability to reduce the workload of frontline healthcare workers. As part of its mission to provide access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities, Philips Foundation has supported implementation of CAD4COVID in 11 South African hospitals.

“Deploying new and alternative technologies capable of detecting and monitoring COVID-19 could be an important part of alleviating resource limitations and reducing the spread of existing and new coronavirus strains,” said Margot Cooijmans, director of the Philips Foundation.

With the aid of Philips’ leading expertise in diagnostic imaging, Philips South Africa played an essential role in facilitating the use of CAD4COVID on available X-ray machines in the 11 South African hospitals. This has enabled the country to increase the detection of COVID-19, quantify its progression, and alleviate pressure on hospitals and their healthcare workers.

“Thanks to the software implementation, the hospital in Kalafong, South Africa, is a leading COVID-19 centre in its area,” said Romulen Pillay, GM, Philips South Africa. “With 50 scans per day, X-ray now plays an integral part in enabling rapid detection and tracking of the coronavirus in patients’ lungs.”

Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO (Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden NV), which, amongst others, manages development funds for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, has funded the introduction of Delft Imaging’s cloud-based CAD4COVID solution, allowing it to be made available to developing countries worldwide.

RVO, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, finances projects in developing countries and emerging markets on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through the Dutch Good Growth Fund (Technical Assistance), RVO has provided funding for adding CAD4COVID to the existing CAD4TB infrastructure in Ghana, which was previously delivered by Delft Imaging with the aid of RVO DRIVE funding.

Issued by the Phillips Foundation


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