COVID‑Net: AI‑assisted diagnosis and prognosis of COVID‑19 infection

A critical step in the fight against COVID‑19 is the effective diagnosis and prognosis of infected patients. This project leverages x‑ray, CT scan and ultrasound images, which are readily available in hospital settings, to provide new screening options for rapid triaging in parallel to viral testing. In the case of ultrasound, the technology is non‑invasive, mobile, and increasingly accessible to remote and low‑resource communities.

Researchers from the University of Waterloo and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) are using artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in the patient chest imaging screening process during the COVID‑19 clinical workflow. AI can play a key role in looking at medical images and helping to determine the incidence and severity of COVID‑19 infection.

The outcomes of this project include open access AI models and the largest, fully curated databases of systematically processed images. These tools could help hospitals, medical device and software firms develop new AI screening solutions for the current and future pandemics, and for other lung infections.


  • Research: University of Waterloo, the NRC's Digital Technologies Research Centre
  • Data: National Institutes of Health, hospitals, publicly available datasets
  • Computation power: DarwinAI, NVIDIA, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft
  • End products and users: DarwinAI, Red Hat, Boston Children's Hospital
  • Funding: DarwinAI, the NRC's Pandemic Response Challenge Program


  • Collect and curate data (images, video) of x‑ray, CT scan and ultrasound images of COVID‑19‑positive and COVID‑19‑negative patients
  • Develop models for risk stratification and diagnosis using few‑shot learning and meta‑learning
  • Develop models for lung segmentation and cropping
  • Produce new AI tools to assist with COVID‑19 diagnostics and prognostics


Project team


Contact us

Stéphane Tremblay, Team Leader
NRC Data Analytics Centre

Alex Wong, Canada Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Medical Imaging
University of Waterloo

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