Singapore and Manila – April 6, 2020 12:00PM – Lifetrack Medical Systems, a healthtech company focused on improving affordable access to medical imaging, today announced the launch of its collaboration with the provincial government of Antique, Philippines. Lifetrack will freely provide its LifeSys platform to aid the public health authorities of the province in identifying and prioritizing molecular testing for potential COVID-19 patients by using CT scans.
Healthcare providers around the world have recognized the value of medical imaging exams to triage potential COVID-19 patients and prioritize the limited availability of RT-PCR tests. Chest CT scans were found to be useful for screening in China, showing evidence of lower respiratory symptoms that are presumptive for COVID-19 infection.
Recognizing this, Lifetrack launched a secure, anonymized and scalable global COVID-19 image repository on 6 March 2020, the first in the world to do so, to aid radiologists and researchers in the use of chest CT scans to identify potential COVID-19 cases faster and earlier. “COVID-19 has reached epidemic proportions and there is an urgency to rapidly diagnose cases. Our goal in making the repository available globally is to make it easier to facilitate global collaboration in identifying potential COVID-19 positive cases,” said Dr. Eric Schulze, Founder and CEO, Lifetrack. “Creating a repository of COVID-19 positive chest CT cases allows radiologists worldwide to educate themselves in identifying and recognizing COVID-19 patterns, crucial in accelerating diagnoses and treatment,” he said.
Lifetrack also issued a call for collaboration with public health authorities to use its LifeSys platform and COVID repository during this period, which Antique’s forward-thinking provincial government responded to.
“With the COVID-19 cases in the Philippines rising exponentially over time, additional measures should be taken to contain the spread of the disease,” according to Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao. “While waiting for the procurement of molecular testing kits, we needed an alternative solution to identifying the potential COVID-19 cases in Antique. We partnered with Lifetrack Medical Systems to provide Antique with remote reading capabilities for chest CT scans as well as the added assistance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to support the triage of potential COVID-19 patients. With this partnership, we can assure each of our Kasimanwa (citizens) we are covering all fronts to battle COVID-19.”
“When the number of COVID-19 cases started rising and the Metro Manila enhanced community quarantine was implemented, we had to act quickly to prepare against all possible outcomes,” shared Deputy House Speaker Loren Legarda of the lone Antique Congressional District. “The virus might have reached our province already, and we had no way of diagnosing until the test kits arrived. Identifying and isolating potential COVID patients to cut off the virus from spreading became our number one priority. Using chest CT scans with radiology reporting assisted by AI technology will allow us to triage potential COVID patients, so that we can quickly place them under quarantine. A report was published about the potential of CT scans when it comes to scanning for COVID patterns, which is very useful tool in identifying potential COVID patients early on.”
Figure 1. Illustrative diagram of the remote triaging setup at Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital (ASMGH) of Antique
Working with the team at Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital (ASMGH) of Antique, Lifetrack set up its LifeSys platform remotely within three weeks to provide the hospital’s consulting radiologist with off-site access. Being based on another island and given the current travel ban in the Philippines, Lifetrack’s solution allows the radiologist to screen CT scans from ASMGH. The radiologist may also choose to consult an A.I.-based decision support provided by Lifetrack’s partner, Predible Health of India, to detect chest CT patterns presumptive of COVID-19. ASMGH will follow strict disinfection protocols in its CT scan machine to prevent COVID-19 from spreading between patients.
“The Lifetrack team wants to thank the Antique provincial government and health officials for giving us the opportunity to contribute to their efforts to fight the spread of COVID-19,” said Carl Nicholas Ng, Lifetrack’s COO. “We want to offer our solution to more public and private health authorities, as well as AI and medical researchers, who want to collaborate with us.”
Lifetrack Medical Systems is a Singapore and Philippines-based healthtech startup that’s developed and deployed the first scalable, distributed medical imaging software designed for affordable access. Lifetrack was recently recognized as one of the Top 150 Digital Health Startups Redefining Healthcare by CB Insights, and works with healthcare partners in Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa. Investors include the Asia Impact Investment Fund managed by the UOB Group and Credit Suisse, the corporate venture arm of Philips Healthcare, and Kickstart Ventures of the Philippines’ Ayala Group.