News center | ​South Africa

Mar 25, 2021

Philips Foundation deploys AI software in South Africa to detect and monitor COVID-19 using chest X-rays

  • AI software developed by Delft Imaging that uses chest X-rays to help triage and monitor COVID-19 patients successfully deployed in 11 South African hospitals


  • Provided free-of-charge through support from Philips Foundation and implementation funding from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO and Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO, the software can alleviate resource limitations as hospitals face an influx of COVID-19 patients


  • As new coronavirus strain holds South Africa in its grip, new tools for COVID-19 detection and monitoring are needed to combat the pandemic

Johannesburg, South Africa – Philips Foundation has successfully implemented artificial intelligence (AI) software, developed by Delft Imaging, in 11 South African hospitals to help triage and monitor COVID-19 patients via X-ray imaging. Delft Imaging’s AI-based CAD4COVID software, which complements existing COVID-19 diagnostic technologies, estimates the severity and progression of COVID-19 disease based on routinely available chest X-rays.


Free to use, CAD4COVID has been developed to support COVID-19 patient triaging in resource-constrained settings and high-prevalence areas. The technology is based on the same technical core as Delft Imaging’s CAD4TB tuberculosis (TB) detection software, which has contributed to screening six million people for TB worldwide.


Philips Foundation recognized the solution’s ability to alleviate the burden on healthcare facilities that lack the resources to cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients, as well as its ability to reduce the workload of frontline healthcare workers. As part of its mission to provide access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities, Philips Foundation has supported implementation of CAD4COVID in 11 South African hospitals.


“Deploying new and alternative technologies capable of detecting and monitoring COVID-19 could be an important part of alleviating resource limitations and reducing the spread of existing and new coronavirus strains,” said Margot Cooijmans, Director of the Philips Foundation.


With the aid of Philips’ leading expertise in diagnostic imaging, Philips South Africa played an essential role in facilitating the use of CAD4COVID on available X-ray machines in the 11 South African hospitals. This has enabled the country to increase the detection of COVID-19, quantify its progression, and alleviate pressure on hospitals and their healthcare workers.

“Thanks to the software implementation, the hospital in Kalafong, South Africa, is a leading COVID-19 center in its area,” said Romulen Pillay, General Manager, Philips South Africa. “With 50 scans per day, X-ray now plays an integral part in enabling rapid detection and tracking of the coronavirus in patients’ lungs.”


Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO (Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V.), which, amongst others, manages development funds for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, has funded the introduction of Delft Imaging’s cloudbased CAD4COVID solution, allowing it to be made available to developing countries worldwide.


RVO, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, finances projects in developing countries and emerging markets on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through the Dutch Good Growth Fund (Technical Assistance), RVO has provided funding for adding CAD4COVID to the existing CAD4TB infrastructure in Ghana, which was previously delivered by Delft Imaging with the aid of RVO DRIVE funding.

About Philips Foundation

The Philips Foundation is a registered charity that was established in July 2014 – founded on the belief that innovation and collaboration can help solve some of the world’s toughest healthcare challenges for the underserved and make essential impact. Reflecting our commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) and 17 (Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development), the mission of the Foundation is to reduce healthcare inequality by providing access to quality healthcare for disadvantaged communities. The Philips Foundation fulfills its mission by deploying Philips’ expertise, innovative products and solutions, by collaborating with key partners around the world (including respected NGOs such as UNICEF, Amref and Save the Children), and by providing financial support for the collaborative activities. More information on the Philips Foundation can be found at  

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Yannick Eshuijs

Yannick Eshuijs

Philips Foundation

Tel.: +31 6 1852 6633

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Radhika Choksey

Radhika Choksey

Head of Marketing & Communications

Philips Middle East, Turkey & Africa

Cell : +31 62525 9000

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