IIT Delhi Ups Its AI Research Capability, Finds Low-cost AI-powered Disease Detection System

Researchers from IIT Delhi have developed an AI system that will help medical practitioners detect health conditions like malaria, TB, cervical cancer and intestinal parasites in milliseconds using a low-powered electronic hardware system.

The new portable and low-cost device will be a breakaway from the current alternatives like rapid diagnostic tests and are relatively cheaper. Stating that the current diagnostic system warrants the issue to the high cost for running a test,  with the new device, researchers hope to make it readily available in resource-constrained areas with limited access to human specialists.

“While many software AI models exist for healthcare and diagnostic-related applications, the need of the hour is to efficiently map these models on portable dedicated low-power, low-cost hardware to enable edge-AI systems accessible to all in low resource environment,” says Professor Manan Suri, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Delhi.

The researchers have presented the paper in two healthcare conferences — IEEE BioCAS-2018 in Cleveland, and IEEE BioCAS-2017 in Torino, Italy. The research was also showcased in Rashtrapati Bhawan and had won the 2018 Gandhian Young Technology Innovation Award (GYTI).

Push For AI Research

In order to bolster the AI research in the institute,  in 2018, IIT-D announced that it will soon establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) exclusively for AI. The new centre, which will make the Institute’s 15th, will be specially designed to facilitate collaboration, increase research and reskilling profession, “

“We are soon going to start a Centre of Excellence on Artificial Intelligence where 40 faculty members who have been working in areas related to AI will be given a platform. This centre of excellence will be a platform with a three-fold approach,” a professor from the institute’s department of computer science and engineering said to a leading daily.

“It will help and engage the faculty working with different aspects of AI and bolster overall research, enhance the collaboration with the industry and re-skill the professionals already part of the industry with AI aspect,” the professor added.

As part of this, the institute has signed an MoU with IBM’s AI Horizon Network, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Michigan among other institutes.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, said “India has immense talent to accelerate innovation in AI and related technologies. We are happy to collaborate with IBM Research scientists and provide opportunities to our students and faculty colleagues to work on some of the complex problems around AI and apply the solutions to real-world scenarios.”

Apart from the opening of CoE in the institute, the Institute has been instrumental in introducing numerous online course on AI and Machine Learning to students.

The students and faculties have been particularly active in the field of AI research and have contributed significantly to the development in the field. In 2017, four undergrad students from the college developed an AI-based reading app, as part of ‘Artificial Intelligence for Education HackWeek,’ a hackathon that was held in the college itself and won $6,000 for their innovation.

ReadEx, is an assisted reading app developed by the students, that will let its users access other external information from the app so as to enhance their reading experience.

“ReadEx is an android reading app that helps in enhancing the user’s learning from what he has read while offering an interface that would keep him engaged. It has been developed keeping in mind the problems we have ourselves faced as students,” Prakhar Gupta, one of the student developers of the app said.

“The AI-powered app further offers the readers options like web searching, open files, or scan text images for reading and asks the user questions from the read text in real time via a Chatbot.  It also offers content recommendations by pinpointing the concepts in the text and keeping a record of previously answered questions through Flashcards to help the user to revise and learn from his previous mistakes,” IIT-D said in a press release.

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Akshaya Asokan
Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.

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