Artificial intelligence to identify COVID-19 patients’ need for intensive care

Cerebriu receives millions in funding from the Innovation Fund Denmark to develop health technology for identifying which COVID-19 patients will need intensive care. The technology will help alleviate some of the strain put on national health services by the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll and has shut down large parts of society. Hospitals and health professionals are hard at work treating Denmark’s COVID-19 patients. One of their challenges is predicting how the disease will develop for each patient: who will need intensive care, when will they need it and how long will they need it for?

Health services will soon receive a helping hand in the form of new health technology which use clinical data and scanning images of COVID-19 patients’ lungs to make a quick, qualified evaluation of which patients will require treatment in an intensive care unit.

The health technology is being developed by Cerebriu which has just received millions in funding from the Innovation Fund Denmark for the development of the product:

  • We are very pleased and grateful for the support from the Innovation Fund Denmark. This situation is putting strain on the health services we are collaborating with on daily basis and no one knows how long this crisis will continue. Our experts in medical imaging will have it as their top priority to dramatically decrease rating time for radiologists, reducing burden on healthcare professionals and increasing overall quality of risk assessment, says Robert Lauritzen, CEO and co-founder of Cerebriu.
The technology frees up necessary radiologist resources

With Cerebrius’ technology, Apollo, patient monitoring will improve, and it will be faster and easier to allocate resources, including respirators, in intensive care units. In addition, the technology will unlock Danish radiologists’ resources, because it can perform clinical analysis of x-ray images and disease development instantaneously. This means that patient condition, disease development – and treatment needs – can be assessed much faster.

Apollo is a software solution that was initially developed to analyze MR-scans of patients with neurological symptoms. The computer software uses artificial intelligence to identify conditions such as bleeds, blood clots and tumors.

“Our initial focus on AI within diagnostic imaging combined with holistic improvement of workflows in hospitals is unique and it means that we are able to quickly support other areas in diagnostics than the brain area. It’s great to see how quickly our approach can be used to help with the sudden need to combat the coronavirus,” says Robert Lauritzen.

From research to innovation

Earlier this month, Copenhagen University Hospital and Rigshospitalet received a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation to fund a research project meant to help treat the coronavirus. They then entered a deal with Cerebriu to create a technology that uses artificial intelligence to determine a COVID-19 patient’s risk of needing intensive care by assessing how severe pneumonia patients have – or will get.

That research project is now expected to have a very good possibility of being a real help to health services, which is why the Innovation Fund Denmark has chosen to support Cerebriu in finishing development on the innovative product.

Rigshospitalet is excited at the prospect of using Cerebrius software as they treat COVID-19 patients:

  • Fast and precise risk assessment is essential to both current and future COVID-19 patients. In that regard, it is important to be able to make a qualified analysis of all available health data in real time, including X-rays. Since Cerebriu has an established knowledge and technology capable of X-ray analysis, they are an important piece in the puzzle and we expect that the collaboration will be a tremendous help in our work with COVID-19 patients, says Martin Hylleholt Sillesen, staff specialist, Ph.D. at Center for Surgical, Translational and Artificial Intelligence Research (CSTAR) at Rigshospitalet.

Cerebrius’ software will initially be used at Rigshospitalet and the goal is to implement the technology at more of the nation’s hospitals.

Read more in article by DR here, Medwatch here or Magasinet pleje here