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United Imaging, a global leader in advanced medical imaging and radiotherapy equipment, announced that its artificial intelligence (AI) teams in Boston and Shanghai will collaborate with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to continue fighting COVID-19.

Artificial intelligence is a primary focus of investment for United Imaging, with the strategy of innovating beyond and across modalities to address the entire patient experience, rather than innovating simply within each individual modality. The company’s strategic investments in AI have been well recognized. United Imaging’s United Imaging Intelligence (UII) America Team recently received a Gold Stevie prize for “Achievement in Science or Technology” in the 2020 American Business Awards. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based team also won top prize in the multi-coil 4x acceleration category of a competition organized by Facebook and NYU Langone Health. Globally, United Imaging’s artificial intelligence team also won a “Super AI Leader” award at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference for its uAI Full-Stack solution for COVID-19 in July.

This new research collaboration reveals a modern, sophisticated approach to a very current issue. “United Imaging has developed AI software based on our experience with thousands of patients outside the U.S.” explains Dr. Terrence Chen, CEO of United Imaging Intelligence America. “The Department of Radiology at MGH proposed leveraging that experience to develop meaningful AI algorithms to help frontline medical professionals detect, predict and fight COVID-19 in the United States. To that end, we have established a joint research collaboration between United Imaging teams in Shanghai and Boston, and Department of Radiology at MGH.”

CT has often been the main modality used in many parts of the world to detect COVID-19. However, in the United States when imaging is required, the approach has been to use standard X-ray. The team will leverage learnings from what it believes to be the largest database of CT images worldwide to develop AI models to be applied to X-ray images. The X- ray models will be refined with U.S. patients, with the target of helping detect and quantify COVID-19, estimating its severity, and exploring other potential use cases.

“We believe that our research will be very important to fighting the pandemic in the long term, so we have agreed that all the intellectual property generated from this collaboration will be public,” explained Chen.

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