To help facilitate a quicker detection of COVID-19, researchers at IIT-Gandhinagar have developed an artificial intelligence-based deep learning tool for detection of the notorious virus from X-ray images.
This online tool developed indicates the probability if a person is infected with COVID-19. It can essentially be used as a quick preliminary diagnosis before the medical test, and is currently being tested by the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH).
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The researchers, who have developed the test, believe that with the limited testing facilities for COVID-19, many countries are rushing towards developing AI tools for quick analysis using X-rays. “Developing a reliable tool requires a combination of right algorithms and data. This is where our tool would prove useful since it can be trained for diagnostic purposes and can be made available for wider use,” said Kushpal Singh Yadav, an MTech student at IIT’s Department of Computer Science Engineering.
The test was developed by pooling the data of X-ray images of COVID-19 infected patients along with that of healthy people from various sources available on the internet. With these images, they train a machine learning architecture using deep learning algorithms. Researchers shared that the model had 12 layers of a neural network.
They further explained that the deep learning method learns the disease diagnosis features from X-ray images in an automatic way. Yadav further added that the tool also uses images from other lung infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia to ensure the specificity of detection of COVID-19 from other lung diseases.
The fact that it uses simple machine learning architecture makes it stand out from other similar initiatives. However, the research gave a heads up that the test is only indicative and further clinical consultation is essential to confirm the diagnosis.
They strongly believe that it will help reduce the burden on medical infrastructure with the current increase in the number of cases in the country.
Many companies are now working on fighting COVID by developing tools and test centres. ICMR recently announced that it is using IBM Watson Assistant to strengthen India’s COVID-19 testing facilities.