Nvidia offers edge AI software, hardware for AI and biometrics to hospitals on the frontline

More smarts for biometrics at the edge

Nvidia, best known for its high-powered graphics processing units (GPUs), has new software and AI models that the company expects will play a significant role in biometric applications in the healthcare industry during the COVID pandemic and beyond.

The new Nvidia Clara Guardian application framework is part of an ecosystem of hardware and AI solutions that gives everyday sensors new smarts. The company highlighted automated body temperature screening, protective masks detection, safe social distancing and remote patient monitoring as key use cases for the Clara Guardian offerings.

To improve hospital public safety and patient monitoring, Nvidia is providing pre-trained models that include support for vision, speech and natural language processing using the company’s EGX Edge AI hardware offerings.

Nvidia notes that in healthcare facilities, smart sensors such as AI-enabled cameras and microphones can help improve patient care and public safety while enhancing operational efficiency. Clara Guardian components used to build these applications include:

Nvidia DeepStream SDK and Transfer Learning Toolkit: to build and deploy AI-powered Intelligent Video Analytics apps and services.

Nvidia NeMo and Jarvis: to build and deploy conversational AI models for Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Text to Speech (TTS).

Nvidia EGX Edge AI platform: for secure management of fleets of devices.

The new application framework makes it possible for smart sensors to monitor crowds for safe social distancing, measure fever or absence of protective gear such as masks. The speech recognition and NLP technology help staff interact remotely with high risk patients in order to reduce virus exposure, for example.

Nvidia has lined up an array of partners to develop and deploy Clara Guardian solutions, including AnyVision, BriefCam, Care.aiChooch AIDeep Vision AIDiycam, IntelliSiteMalong TechnologiesOuvaSafelyYou, SAFR, SmartCowTeiaCare, Tonbo Imaging and Whiteboard Coordinator. The company said partners are already deploying the technology in over 50 hospitals and 10,000 hospitals rooms worldwide.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged the collaboration of technology, research and the healthcare industry to develop new computing solutions that accelerate the understanding of the spread, scale and severity of this disease,” said Kimberly Powell, vice president of Healthcare at Nvidia in a prepared statement.

Healthcare is a small but fast-growing market vertical for Nvidia. For context, Nvidia generated $11.76 billion in revenue in 2019. For the quarter ended April 2020, the company generated $3.08 billion in revenue. Sales for gaming (including PCs and graphics accelerator cards) and datacenter processors represent the bulk of the company’s revenue. That said, executives said that healthcare equipment and services companies like GE are being joined by Siemens as customers, and make up an important market.

“Nvidia technology is essential for the scientific community to develop an end-to-end computational defense system, a system that can detect early, accelerate the development of a vaccine, contain the spread of disease and continuously test and monitor,” said CEO Jensen Huang on an earnings call in April with Wall Street analysts.

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