IIT professor develops software to detect COVID-19 using X-ray

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An IIT-Roorkee professor claims to have developed a software that can detect COVID-19 within five seconds using an X-ray scan of the suspected patient.

The professor, who took over 40 days to develop the software, has filed a patent for the same and has approached the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for a review.

Kamal Jain, a professor at the institute’s civil engineering department, claims that the software will not only reduce testing costs but will also reduce the risk of exposure to healthcare professionals.

So far, there is no verification of his claim by a medical institution.

“I first developed an artificial intelligence-based database after analyzing over 60,000 X-ray scans, including those of COVID-19, pneumonia, and tuberculosis patients to differentiate between the kind of chest congestion suffered in the three diseases. I also analyzed the chest x-ray database of the United States’ NIH Clinical Center,” Jain told PTI.

“Using the software developed by me, the doctors can simply upload pictures of an individual’s X-ray. The software will not only classify whether the patient has any sign of pneumonia, it will be able to tell whether it is due to COVID-19 or other bacteria and also measure the severity of the infection.

The results can be processed within five seconds” he added.

Jain said the software can help in accurate preliminary screening which can be supplemented by clinical testing for those tested positive for the deadly virus.

“Pneumonia caused by COVID-19 is severe than other bacteria as it affects the lungs completely than smaller portions of lungs in other cases. The software will analyze bilateral opacity, the pattern of fluid build-up in the lungs and nature of clump or clot if any,” the professor said.

“Similar kinds of experiments are being conducted by the University of Amazon in the United States but there has not been a breakthrough yet,” he claimed.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 718 and the number of cases to 23,077 in the country on Friday.

The number of active COVID-19 cases is 17,610 as 4,748 people have been cured and discharged, and one patient migrated, it said.

The ICMR said a total of 23,502 samples have been confirmed positive for coronavirus so far.

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