COVID-19 is the world’s highest priority in 2020. A key tool in managing this pandemic is determining who is infected, allowing those to self-quarantine or seek medical help, for the good of themselves, their loved ones, and the community at large, pending a vaccine. Although some countries are offering “ID Now” swab assay tests to determine COVID-19 infection, the accuracy of these tests is unclear. To augment testing capability, I am proposing adding imaging to diagnostic efforts for those who present possible symptoms of COVID-19. The inflamed lungs resulting from COVID-19 infection may be investigated using various imaging technologies, although the CT scan is reported to be the “gold-standard” to assess lung aeration, as it is accurate, non-invasive, convenient, and cost effective. Furthermore, CT is preferred over other imaging technologies as it offers good sensitivity to detect early changes in the lungs, and can be used to monitor COVID progression in patients.
Using a MATLAB compound image processing strategy, an Opacity Score has been developed based on the CT scan of a patient's lungs, allowing an almost instantaneous assessment of ground glass opacity, which indicates respiratory inflammation. The attached illustrations show isolated COVID with an Opacity Score of 576, versus healthy lungs with a score of 293. This technique offers a non-invasive, accurate, convenient and cost effective test for assessing and monitoring COVID-19 presence in humans.