China AI startup fights COVID-19 with lung analysis tool

GPU-powered Lung Doc is used by 30 hospitals in China.

Shukun Technology was busy improving its AI-powered platform to diagnose heart disease and strokes when COVID-19 struck. The China AI startup quickly switched gear to develop a system that analyses chest CT scans to help speed up diagnoses of COVID-19 patients.

Called Lung Doc — pneumonia edition, the AI system is now used by 30 hospitals in China. With more learning from data, it is expected to be more accurate over time.

According to Chao Zheng, Chief Technology Officer of Shukun, the NVIDIA GPU-powered system is proving so effective that Shukun is working on beefing it up for use in the many other countries that have inquired about using it.

The three-year-old company also has AI-based products for heart ailments and strokes which are designed to shorten the time radiologists spend reconstructing and analysing 2D and 3D images, and make diagnoses based on their findings.

Such tasks usually take about 30 minutes for a skilled radiologist. Shukun’s AI adds consistency and speed, requiring just a minute to perform both the reconstruction and diagnosis processes.

“It’s a very efficient tool that helps radiologists deliver quicker, more accurate results,” said Zheng.

Shukun’s heart and stroke products are deployed in more than 200 hospitals in China.