NIPI, through a strategic partnership with the Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence is using cough sounds for the detection of COVID-19 suspect cases. NIPI provides the necessary infrastructure and techno-managerial support for the implementation of an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based triaging tool which has been developed by the Wadhwani Institute.
Here’s how it works:
After providing demographic information and clinical history a suspected COVID-19 patient is asked to provide short “solicited cough” sound samples, which is recorded by the data collector using a smartphone-based application. The result of the COVID-19 test will be linked to the cough sounds. These parameters will be used to develop the artificial intelligence-based tool to triage symptomatic patients for confirmatory testing for COVID-19.
New innovative approaches are crucial in pandemics like COVID-19 where supply of test kits and the number of testing facilities is sometimes lacking, yet large populations must be diagnosed to avoid spreading of the disease. The challenge with symptom-based testing is that most COVID-19 symptoms are non-specific and are similar to seasonal flu symptoms. Hence, it is crucial to devise a triaging method that identifies suspected cases of COVID-18 that can be prioritized for confirmatory testing. The novel digitalized COVID-19 diagnostic tool is currently being tested and implemented in the states of Bihar and Odisha.
A partnership of this nature is exactly what the Governments of Norway and India envision through NIPI. The longstanding cooperation in health between our two governments has churned out and implemented a large number of innovative healthcare solutions in India, and this is more relevant in the current times than ever before.