Nvidia launches Clara Guardian to power smart hospitals with surveillance, sensors, and edge AI

Nvidia today announced the launch of Clara Guardian, a smart hospital edge AI system that uses sensors like cameras to limit the spread of infectious disease and do things like operating room analytics or workflow automation. Clara Guardian and partners like AnyVision and Care.ai are currently deployed in 50 hospitals in countries like China, France, Italy, and Israel in 10,000 hospital rooms around the world today.

In line with COVID-19 related concerns, Guardian checks people for elevated temperatures, use real-time computer vision for social distancing surveillance, and assist with contactless patient monitoring.

Clara Guardian will also help in the future with things like surgery analytics to do things like keep track of equipment during an operation.

Nvidia insists smart hospitals can make cleaner environments and reduce the risk of spreading on infectious disease like COVID-19.

“If we can employ technologies like video and voice and use artificial intelligence to have a real-time active engagement to create actions and efficiencies for nurses. That’s a huge gain for healthcare professionals,” Nvidia VP of healthcare Kimberly Powell said in a call with reporters.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced a series of news items today central to the future of AI development in a pre-recorded GTC keynote address. High on the list of news is the release of A100, Nvidia’s most powerful GPU to date, and the Ampere GPU architecture. The A100 promises 20 times better performance on training and inference compared to its predecessor the Tesla V100.

The A100 GPU will be available in public clouds environments, and for the acceleration of Apache Spark 3.0, and AI-powered Nvidia SDKs like Merlin and Jarvis.

Clara Guardian works with Nvidia’s suite of EGX edge AI chips ranging from Jetson chip embedded in devices to T4 edge inferencing servers. Today, Nvidia also released Jetson Xavier NX and the EGX A100, the first edge chip that utilizes the Ampere GPU architecture. The EGX A100 will be available in late 2020.

Nvidia also said it’s building a DGX A100 supercomputer for Argonne National Laboratory, a member of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing consortium to carry out simulations to understand genetics and how molecules interact with each other.

Also new from Nvidia’s health care team today: Pretrained models for lung segmentation and COVID-19 detection from CT scan imagery. The models are trained on data from China, Japan, U.S., and Italy. National Institutes of Health staff labeled the data, Powell said.

There are a lot of pretrained COVID-19 detection models available today, but in many places including the United States, using CT scans for COVID-19 diagnosis is not the standard of care, but Powell urged the continued development of AI for CT scan imagery as way to evaluate the severity of illness in a patient.

“These models can be used as building blocks to future things like predicting whether a patient is going to go into an ICU that will accelerate future research,” she said.

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