Point-of-Care Ultrasound for COVID-19

Delivering real-time diagnosis of pneumonia caused by COVID-19.

Project Budget*- $0.7M

Partner Co-investment - $0.2M

Supercluster Co-investment - $0.5M

Providence Health Care Corporation- $0.50 M

*Contracted amounts as of September 30, 2020. 

Project Partners

Project Overview

Diagnosing COVID-19 in patients in rural and remote communities can be costly and time-consuming. As well, the molecular tests can fail to detect up to 30 per cent of cases. 

The risks from delays or misdiagnosis can have severe consequences. Patients with false negative tests can unknowingly spread the infection, while delayed detection in long-term care home residents can lead to more outbreaks and deaths. 

The Intelligent Network for Point-of-Care Ultrasound for COVID-19 project aims to improve our ability to detect COVID-19 by developing an AI-powered platform that can be used with wireless, handheld ultrasound devices. Combined with machine learning and a cloud-based platform, this technological advance will deliver real-time diagnosis of patients with pneumonia, potentially caused by COVID-19. 

Led by Providence Health Care in partnership with Clarius, Change Healthcare, Rural Coordination Centre of BC, the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health, the project’s goal is to make the networked, portable ultrasound technology available in rural and remote communities, and eventually long-term care homes for seniors.

By deploying this device during an outbreak, tests can be performed repetitively without adverse effects to the patients. It also reduces unnecessary exposure of healthcare workers and the need for potentially infected individuals to travel to a test site. 

Current data already shows the handheld tests are detecting 33 per cent more COVID-19 cases than molecular tests. 

On top of the immediate diagnostic capabilities, the project will be among the first of its kind globally with a data library of lung conditions.  

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