Covid-19 can be identified automatically from sick patients’ lung X-rays using an artificial intelligence (AI) developed at Brunel University, according to the researchers.

The algorithm uses deep learning to spot signs of coronavirus diseases such as Covid-19, SARS and MERS.

Brunel Digital Science and Technology Hub director Professor Abdul Sadka has cautioned that image analysis alone can’t confirm someone has a specific disease, but coupled with deep learning it can help doctors diagnose people more accurately. This will help them manage how the illness develops and act sooner to stem its spread.

The team is now in talks with businesses to roll out the technology on a commercial scale.

Sadka said: “With the virus not going away anytime soon, this technology has the capability to massively ramp up our response to the disease and enable the healthcare specialists to identify, monitor and handle the treatment of pulmonary diseases.”