India scales up it’s Covid-19 testing capacity
The need to increase testing for Covid-19 in India was understood which is why Covid-19 testing has been ramped up and scaled up. According to this article there has been a three fold increase in Covid-19 testing with an average of 10 lakh samples tested daily.
Precious medical resources are getting utilised in the conduction of the prevailing Covid-19 tests
The golden standard for testing of Covid-19 for it’s diagnosis is RT-PCR test.
The issue here is that conducting RT-PCR tests incur costs besides they employ valuable resources like Covid-19 test kits, lab facilities and technicians. The health care system is stretched beyond capacity engaged in the exercise of conducting large scale Covid testing.
Dire need for smarter testing for enabling a more efficient Covid-19 testing process
There is a definite need to do smarter testing, that will allocate available resources in a more efficient manner for Covid testing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology can enable smarter testing, free up resources as they can be allocated to be utilised more efficiently and effectively.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology can be used to detect Covid infected people
An AI model being developed by Mumbai’s Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Mumbai is designed to analyse the cough sounds of people, to identify people who may have the novel Corona virus infection, while filtering out those cases who have Covid-19 like symptoms but not the infection. People can do this test by submitting their cough samples along with providing a brief on the symptoms they are experiencing through an app in their smartphones.
Conducting Covid tests utilizing AI technology can enhance the Covid testing process
This test can be used as a screening test that would determine the people who need to further undergo an RT-PCR test for confirmation of whether they have the Covid-19 virus. This not only decongests the health care system that’s burdened with a load of cases who need to be tested for Covid-19 but also saves the inconvenience for the people to go and undergo a RT-PCR test, that would involve irritation as this is an invasive procedure where bud is dug deep into the throat and nasal cavity to collect the required samples to be tested.
Other AI models being developed to detect Covid analysing Respiratory sounds and patterns
Another such AI powered tool is being developed by IISC-Bengaluru which will be made available as a mobile/web application. Under ‘Coswara’ project’ during May after getting approval from the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), IISC team had collected respiratory sounds of Covid patients being nursed in hospitals.
The tool would be capable of analysing the voice and cough sounds of people to deduce if the provided sample has a signature similar to those patients who have Covid-19 by scrutinizing the respiratory patterns in the provided sample.
The person getting tested should provide a sample with a recording comprising of the sounds of his/her breathing, cough , speech where counting was done.