Point-of-Care Ultrasound for COVID-19

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

Project Budget*- $0.5M

Partner Co-investment* - /

Supercluster Co-investment* - $0.5M

Project Partners

Project Overview

Diagnosing COVID-19 in patients is the difference between hospital admission or sending someone home and in rural and remote areas there are significant challenges to getting timely diagnoses. It can take up to 10 days to get a test result, and in some remote communities it can be impossible. And there are challenges with the molecular test kits used to detect COVID-19. They can fail to detect up to 30 percent of cases and there are supply chain risks that can impact their availability. 

The risks from delays or misdiagnosis may have severe consequencesPatients with false negative tests can spread the infection without even knowing, while delayed detection in long-term care home residents can lead to uncontrolled outbreaks and death, which we have already seen across the country. 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 platformthe game changing technological advance will deliver real-time diagnosis of patients with pneumonia potentially caused by COVID-19. 

Led by Providence Health Care, supported by St. Paul‘s Foundation, in partnership with Clarius, Change Healthcare, Rural Coordination Centre of BC (RCCBC)the University of British Columbiaand 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 such a device directly in an outbreak, tests can be performed repetitively without adverse effects for the patients. It also reduces unnecessary exposure of healthcare workers and the need for transport of potentially infected individuals to a test site. Rural operators across B.C. will be trained and supported by expert ultrasonographers through RCCBC.  Education tools will also be created by a Vancouver-based clinical expert team is available to support both rural and urban users.

Current data already shows the handheld test results are detecting 33 percent more COVID-19 pneumonia cases than molecular tests. 

On top of the immediate diagnostic capabilities the project will likely be the first of its kind globally with a data library of lung conditionsThis project will revolutionize the diagnosis of COVID-19, and other heart and lung conditions. 

*amounts at time of project selection

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