Microsoft ISV partners deploy new tooling to support coronavirus fight
by: Eamon McCarthy Earls
April 28, 2020
The coronavirus continues to rattle industries, driving up unemployment, hampering economic activity, and, above all, causing a major health crisis. In response to the sudden strain on hospital systems and other organizations, ISVs and partners in the Microsoft channel have been creating specialized apps and tooling to address different challenges.
US-based machine learning provider and Microsoft partner, ElectrifAi develops productized machine learning and AI models to help multiple industries save costs and analyze data. With a long history as a Microsoft partner, the company relies on Azure to handle the compute and back-end services for its IP. As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, the company is offering new tools on the Azure Marketplace, backed by Azure Kubernetes Service, to support hospitals on the front lines.
Jim McGowan, SVP of cloud partners at ElectrifAi, explained that the company has premiered a new offering, called PulmoAi to assist healthcare providers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The product helps in Covid-19 patient triage testing and assessing the efficacy of treatments, he explained:
[PulmoAI is] really two products, one on CT and one on X-ray. We built this in conjunction with front-line hospitals in crisis zones. Talking with hospitals in Italy, they needed a lot of work on CT, whereas in the US when they first started getting hit in Seattle or New York, X-rays are more common. We created an adapted version of the technology. [It helps healthcare professionals] make decisions in the emergency room, by aiding the radiologists to compare the X-ray they're looking at versus those previously diagnosed as Covid positive or with bacterial infections. Right now in New York, if you present with Covid, there's some chance they'll send you home if you don't seem serious.
Pulmo CT does high-resolution segmentation of the lungs, looking pixel by pixel in a CT scan to see where the damage has been done by Covid or other conditions and providing a numerical representation of damage. It's very useful for evaluating drug treatments to determine what's working and what's not. They are trying things in the field to understand day to day if treatments work.
ElectrifAi moved quickly to build PulmoAi as early clusters appeared outside of China in Italy and Seattle. The company found that Microsoft was supportive in rapid testing to get the application approved on Azure Marketplace. Azure Kubernetes Service has allowed them quickly roll-out and pull back changes.