Abstract: Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a pandemic of epic proportions and a global response to prepare health systems worldwide is of utmost importance. In addition to its cost-effectiveness in a resources-limited setting, lung ultrasound (LUS) has emerged as a rapid noninvasive imaging tool for the diagnosis of COVID-19 infected patients. Concerns surrounding LUS include the disparity of infected patients and healthcare providers, relatively small number of physicians and sonographers capable of performing LUS, and most importantly, the requirement for substantial physical contact between the patient and operator, increasing the risk of transmission. Mitigation of the spread of the virus is of paramount importance. A 2-dimensional (2D) tele-operative robotic platform capable of performing LUS in for COVID-19 infected patients may be of significant benefit. The authors address the aforementioned issues surrounding the use of LUS in the application of COVID- 19 infected patients. In addition, first time application, feasibility and safety were validated in three healthy subjects, along with 2D image optimization and comparison for overall accuracy. Preliminary results demonstrate that the proposed platform allows for successful acquisition and application of LUS in humans.
Authors: Ryosuke Tsumura, John W. Hardin, Keshav Bimbraw, Olushola S. Odusanya, Yihao Zheng, Jeffrey C. Hill, Beatrice Hoffmann, Winston Soboyejo, Haichong K. Zhang (WPI)