New AI System Claims to Do Accurate Coronavirus Testing in 20 Seconds

Alibaba claims its new AI system can detect coronavirus with up to 96 percent accuracy.

The number of U.S. coronavirus cases climbed to over 100 on Tuesday, leaving many Americans calling for better testing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the States. CDC testing has recently come under fire for mailing flawed testing kits, and there have been numerous reports of people being turned away for coronavirus testing at hospitals if they arrive with symptoms that aren't considered severe. One possible solution to this testing gap could be a new AI system developed by the Chinese technology company Alibaba, which claims to get results quickly and accurately.

Per a February report from Nikkei Asian Review, researchers at Alibaba's research institute Damo Academy said that they had used sample data from more than 5,000 confirmed coronavirus cases to develop an AI diagnostic system that could detect differences in CT scans of those with coronavirus and those with pneumonia with up to 96 percent accuracy.

Alibaba claims the AI system could identify these differences in 20 seconds. By comparison, it usually takes healthcare workers about 15 minutes to reach a diagnosis, which means the new technology could help significantly speed up testing. According to the report, the AI system was set to be used by more than 100 hospitals in China.

In recent weeks, tech companies have stepped up to help battle this ongoing global health crisis. Ping An, a Chinese insurance company, recently announced a "smart image-reading system" to help control the pandemic. Their system is capable of conducting a comparative analysis of multiple CT scans of the same patient to track the progress of coronavirus, evaluate treatment, and help doctors diagnose and evaluate patients.

"Since its launch, the smart image-reading system has provided services to more than 1,500 medical institutions," Geoff Kau, co-president and chief strategy officer of Ping An Smart City, said in a statement. "More than 5,000 patients have received smart image-reading services for free. The system can generate smart analysis results in around 15 seconds, with an accuracy rate above 90 percent."

Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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