AI-powered X-Ray Setu to boost COVID detection in rural India

AI-powered X-Ray Setu to boost COVID detection in rural India

BAKU, Azerbaijan, June 3

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X-Ray Setu, an AI-driven platform that operates through WhatsApp, could revolutionise COVID-19 testing in small towns and rural pockets where RT-PCR tests and CT scans are not easily available.

The X-Ray Setu detects COVID-19 with the help of simple X-ray which is processed using an artificial intelligence (AI) system in the backend. The chest X-ray of a person is uploaded by the doctor or radiologist on a WhatsApp bot of X-Ray Setu, which analyses the image and generates a report in 10-15 minutes.

The technology has been developed by Artpark, a not-for-profit, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and start-up Niramai. Artpark plans to rope in 10,000 doctors who will be trained to use X-Ray Setu. The idea is to prepare in time for the imminent third wave of COVID.

What is X-Ray Setu

X-Ray Setu is a service driven by AI. By crunching data and scanning the X-Ray reports of a patient, it detects if the said patient is infected with the COVID-19 virus. This is most effective in cases where RT-PCR or other testing and CT scan facilities are unavailable.

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X-Ray Setu will be more useful once it is integrated with third party apps and portals that are assisting people to get latest updates about COVID-19 and book slots for vaccinations or testing.

Brains Behind X-Ray Setu

The IISc promoted Artpark has received Rs 230 crore from the Department of Science and Technology under the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems and the Karnataka government. Artpark develops AI and robotics facilities to support technology innovations.

Using this technology, doctors can upload the chest X-Ray scans of suspected patients and check for the COVID-19 virus. The X-Ray Setu WhatsApp bot automatically processes the scan and generates a report in a short time span of 15 minutes.

What about Charges

Currently, the platform is available free of cost as it has been developed keeping in mind people from smaller towns and remote rural areas, who constitute a large section of the population. There could be a nominal charge of Rs 100 after eight months.

How Many Doctors are on Board

The technology has been operational for over a week now and about 500 doctors have already come on board. Artpark plans to create a network of 10,000 doctors in the next two weeks.

Advantage Rural India

Rural India had 5,335 community health centres (CHCs) as of March 31, 2019 and estimates indicate that two-third of them have a working X-Ray machine and a technician to operate it.
Amid reports of dangers of unnecessary CT scans resulting in radiation exposure, It is hoped that X-Rays will detect the virus, address the delays and false negatives that constantly occur in case of RT-PCR tests.

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