The UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the use of CoverScan MD, an MRI-based technology that maps the effects of COVID-19 on several of the body’s key organs, developed by Perspectum.
Lyth Hishmeh, CoverScan study patient, said: “I’m thrilled to hear that CoverScan has been granted approval by MHRA. I cannot stress enough how much myself and a large number of people with Long-COVID have benefitted from CoverScan. For those of us with organ damage, it has accelerated our access to treatment by informing us exactly what organs need to be examined further, while for the rest of us, it has brought us invaluable peace of mind. This is a step in the right direction, and I hope everyone who is misfortunate enough to suffer from Long-COVID can benefit from this.”
Dr Melissa Heightman, consultant respiratory physician, UCL, and head of North London Long-COVID care services, said: “The MHRA authorisation of CoverScan is timely. UK experts and NICE are developing a COVID follow up pathway which provides equitable access and high-quality community-based triage with rapid access to diagnostics and multi-speciality services. We have seen over 800 patients in North London, and it would be very valuable for their clinical care to be able to access CoverScan results.”
Perspectum’s CoverScan MD technology enables healthcare providers to identify Coronavirus-related systemic organ damage through scans of patients’ hearts, lungs, livers, as well as other internal organs, and to assess the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infections. With the use of CoverScan MD, UK doctors will now have a technology to add to the arsenal of tools used to assess and evaluate patients with Long-COVID, while at the same time gain a greater understanding of its symptoms and long-term impact on different organ systems.
Long-COVID affects 10-30% of people who have symptomatic infection with Sars-CoV-2 and is defined as symptomatic disease lasting longer than 12 weeks. Patients typically have extreme fatigue, chest pain, breathlessness, muscle aches and brain fog, but there are many reported symptoms. Many of these patients have organ damage or impairment, and ways of managing this are currently being researched. Patients with Long-COVID are often unable to work for long periods of time, posing a significant burden to the economy and public services.