Addressing hospital backlogs in lung scan analysis with AI

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As India continues to fight against the second wave of COVID19, the state of healthcare in India is in sharp focus. India has a total of 43,486 hospitals, 1.18 million beds, 59,264 ICUs and 29,631 ventilators. And all for a population of 1.3 billion. The resources and manpower are clearly not enough. Many of these gaps can however be filled using technology.

The arrival of COVID19 in India last year actively spurred the medical fraternity and tech sectors to find solutions that can manage the fallout of the pandemic. One of the most pertinent challenges was the availability of radiologists – India has only 10,000. With COVID19 affecting lungs more critically than other organs, there was a pressing need for radiologists who could read CT-scans, chest X-rays and the like. This step was especially necessary to combine with RT-PCR tests to accurately determine the extent of lung damage in COVID-positive patients.

And this was one crucial area where technology was scaled in the past year. Companies like Qure.ai, 5C Network and Predible Health are now among the most sought after solutions by healthcare providers to study scans, conduct imaging for patients and produce results rapidly.

Bangalore-based Predible Health is very busy these days. College mates and cofounders Suthirth Vaidya, Abhijith Chundru and Adarsh Raj started the company in 2016, which was an extension of their undergraduate project on applying deep learning to analyse neuro imaging and MRIs, to eventually develop AI-based solutions for analysis of radiology imaging. Their flagship product, LungIQ, helps physicians deliver an accurate diagnosis of diseased lungs using AI.

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