Two Pakistani students have created an Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool to help diagnose Covid-19 as the shortage of testing kits prevails in the country.
Mohammad Aleem, a medical engineering student is working on the project. He said, “As the virus is still growing exponentially and our hospitals are already overwhelmed, we decided to turn to artificial intelligence to help promptly identify cases in the absence of testing kits”
Mohammad Aleem and his colleague, Rahul Raj, are final year students at Gulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI). They both used technology to serve the country for the battle against coronavirus.
Aleem, 22, informed the international news agency, “The AI-powered deep learning model that we have developed from scratch can help detect COVID-19 with 92 percent confidence using computed tomography (CT) scan of lungs”
In the shortage of medical kits and the unavailability of medical crew, the AI detector will be helpful in test coronavirus patients.
Raj, a computer science student, said, “The detector relies on the chest CT imaging. If the CT scans are available then it would hardly take 10-20 seconds to perform the analysis and find out if the patient is COVID-19 positive,”
The AI detector will help save time and will also decrease the involvement of experts such as radiologists.
Rahul Raj told the international news agency that the automatic analysis can recognize two things. “One it can confirm with 92 percent confidence if the person has tested positive or negative for novel coronavirus. Secondly, based on medical imagery, it can help locate the exact position, impact, and severity of the damage to the lungs,”
This technology will help save time and endeavors in dealing with the patients.
However, major limitations would be the cost of CT scans in Pakistan and lack of appropriate equipment as the results relies on imagery.
Aleem explained that the AI detector involves deep learning. The computer learns in the same manner as humans do: the computer learns by examples and practice. “The more data (such as images and text) an algorithm can train on, the more accurate it will be,”
Both the developers said, “We immediately need more CT scans of coronavirus patients to improve the detector’s accuracy and begin testing.”
Several countries such as China are working on technologies similar to the AI for coronavirus diagnosis. Aleem said, “Our system’s output might be similar but we have our methodology to achieve the results,”