SIGS Research: AI + 5G Ultrasonic Device Assists Doctors in Dynamically Evaluating and Treating Severe COVID-19 Patients

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the research team led by Prof. Yuan Kehong from Tsinghua SIGS and Shenzhen Wisonic Medical Technology Co Ltd have cooperated to develop new technologies in response to the urgent clinical needs of severe patients. The AI-enabled, 5G ultrasonic device has added navigation functions to capture views of the heart and lungs, and can provide automatic measurements of key parameters to assist doctors in dynamically evaluating and treating severe patients.

COVID-19 is routinely evaluated by medical history, CT scans and other methods, but this is not feasible for severe patients who have to remain in isolation wards. Thick protective clothing also limits the reliability of physical examination. Facing such challenges, bedside ultrasound is currently the best option to monitor and guide treatment for severe patients.

The newly developed ultrasonic device uses an intelligent navigation system that aids the operator in capturing ultrasound images with standard views. It is able to perform automatic and accurate calculation of image section parameters, and provide real-time guidance from remote ultrasound experts. This means that even operators who are not professionally trained as ultrasound doctors are able to evaluate multiple organs, including the heart, for patients in critical conditions.

Building on existing collaborative work, the research team was formed in mid-January 2020 in response to the urgent ultrasound need of severe patients. Positive results were achieved within half a month and the technology has since been used in hospitals such as Wuhan Union Hospital West Campus. Further research is currently carried out by the National Research Center for Infectious Disease (The Third People's Hospital of Shenzhen). Existing functions of the technology will be improved and the process of remote diagnosis will be optimized, so as to provide doctors with more intelligent, more reliable, and more professional assistance in treating severe patients.


The technology at use at the Liaoning Treatment Center (the Sixth People’s Hospital of Shenyang) on February 3


Checking severe patients in the ICU at Wuhan Union Hospital West Campus on February 8

Written by Jing Zhang, Zihao Zhang

Edited by Li Shu, Karen Lee