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Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered tool for COVID-19 suspect cases using cough sounds in Bihar

COVID-19 has emerged as a pandemic that is posing threat to the existence of hundreds and thousands of people. In light of this situation, The Government of Bihar has been very proactive in responding to the global crisis and is taking several measures from the grass-root level to prevent this pandemic. Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI), a health initiative between Government of India and Norway and State Health Society of Bihar has been approached to support the Government of Bihar in providing techno-managerial support to develop AI based solution. Decision on scalability will be taken based on the results achieved.

Challenges

While the state of Bihar’s testing capacity is increasing every day, it is still expected that the supply of test kits and the number of testing facilities will not be able to meet the demand, especially if simple early-stage-symptom eligibility criteria are used.

Further, one of the challenges of adopting a symptom-based testing protocol is that the most common COVID-19 symptoms are non-specific, and can deluge the system with unnecessary testing and health check-ups. Hence, it is crucial to devise a triaging method that allows the most probable suspected cases to be prioritized for COVID-19 testing.

Proposed solution- AI enabled COVID cough Tool

Cough is one of the predominant presenting symptoms in case of COVID-19, with almost 70% confirmed patients experiencing it. Triaging persons based on characteristics of cough that are likely to correspond with acoustic signature of COVID-19 may help guide high probability suspect cases towards early health interventions.

Wadhwani AI, a nonprofit organization is in the process of developing an Artificial Intelligence enabled tool for COVID-19 suspect cases using cough sounds using Artificial intelligence utilizing the data collected through suspected cased from the state which would be utilized as screening/triaging tool for and can be integrated with ‘Arogya-Setu’ app developed by Government of India.

Approach

Suspected cases presenting for COVID-19 testing at designated sites in state of Bihar will be enrolled after an informed consent. After acquiring the basic demographic information and clinical history the patient will be asked to provide short “solicited cough” sound samples, which will be recorded using a smartphone based application by the data collector. The result of the COVID-19 test will be used as labels to cough sounds. These parameters will be used to develop an artificial intelligence-based tool to triage symptomatic patients for testing for COVID-19.

Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) Team

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