Lung imaging software may fast-track coronavirus diagnosis
Posted on The Australian, 11 March 2020
An Australian medical technology company is hoping to forge the pathway to a fast-tracked coronavirus diagnosis by reducing the diagnostic time to three hours.
4DX is seeking to partner with an Australian hospital to conduct clinical trials of its lung imaging analysis software at an Australian hospital. There’s international interest brewing, with Duke University in the US and a Chinese university already wanting to use the technology.
The company’s chief executive and founder, Andreas Fouras, is an Australian aeronautical engineer whose research into wind flow across plane wings expanded into lung health analysis technology.
“It makes for a test that is really fast and completely reliable because there is no opportunity for human error to be included in how our tests are run,” Professor Fouras said. “The way that the virus impacts your lungs is it creates these regions that become inflamed and have reduced airflow and that’s the way in which the virus makes you sick. We’ve been able to prove that we are a very early detector of any disease in the lung.”
Pathology labs in Australia are currently screening for coronavirus using nasal and throat swabs that take 24-48 hours to be read by a specialist.
4DX says its technology has a three-hour turnaround from testing to diagnosis. Doctors would send a lung X-ray to the company which they would run through algorithm to reveal any signs of lung damage or reduced airflow.
Author: Adeshola Ore
Adeshola Ore is a reporter at The Australian. She previously reported and produced radio for BBC World Service in London and freelanced for Thomson Reuters Foundation in Melbourne. Adeshola holds an Honours Degree in Sociology from The University of Melbourne.