Updated: April 16, 2020 10:25 PM
Created: April 16, 2020 09:17 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator is helping researchers try to figure out how to treat coronavirus patients.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University are using the New Mexico Decedent Image Database to compare lung tissue.
They're looking at patients with pneumonia from COVID-19, and those from New Mexico who have died from things like lung cancer.
"And it's over 15,000 New Mexicans. All the images and all the data is de-identified, so you can't recognize anybody in the database but it's still really interesting and useful for a lot of fields of research," said Dr. Heather Edgar, forensic anthropologist with the Office of the Medical Investigator.
Dr. Edgar said they were contacted by a researcher at Johns Hopkins, who is using CT scans of people who died from lung disease-- and comparing it with images from people who now have COVID-19.
Researchers are hoping to use the information that they get from CT scans to predict how patients with COVID-19 will respond to certain treatments.
"And so it's Johns Hopkins that's doing the real research, and they will publish their results," Dr. Edgar said. "I know as fast as they can, and they're working on it really, really quickly as are all the researchers that are working on COVID-19 projects."
The Office of the Medical Investigator says more than 200 researchers have requested access to their database.
Officials said they did not expect it would be used to treat COVID-19, but they are glad it's available.
Copyright 2020 - KOB-TV LLC, A Hubbard Broadcasting Company