In response to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the impact of COVID-19 on the heart, the FDA expedited clearance of an updated version of Caption Guidance, an AI-guided medical imaging acquisition system. The innovative technology makes it easier for frontline healthcare workers to perform diagnostic-quality cardiac ultrasounds.

Caption Guidance emulates the guidance of an expert sonographer by providing over 90 types of real-time instructions and feedback. These visual prompts help users make specific transducer movements to optimize and capture a diagnostic-quality image.

“At Northwestern Medicine, we believe AI-based guidance for cardiac ultrasound acquisition will equip our frontline providers to perform these exams with limited training,” says Akhil Narang, MD, a cardiologist at Northwestern Medicine. “This will have a significant impact in our response to COVID-19 while minimizing exposure for our sonographers.”

The new version of Caption Guidance, part of the Caption AI software platform, includes 88% more types of guidance, improved algorithm performance, and optimized workflow. The technology allows clinicians without specialized echocardiography training to capture images at the point of care, which is consistent with recommendations from the American Society of Echocardiography for how to reduce risk of exposure to the coronavirus and conserve use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Given the shortage of individuals who can perform cardiac ultrasound in our institution and our desire to limit exposure to patients with COVID-19 to the frontline providers treating them, we are looking to teach these COVID-19 frontline providers, such as nurses, APPs, and physicians, to perform cardiac ultrasound exams,” says Chris Moore, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Yale. “However, we are aware of how challenging the exam is to learn and perform. Given the time-sensitivity and importance of this, we need a fast and effective way of getting frontline providers adept at performing cardiac ultrasound exams.”

For more information, go to Caption Health.