Bihar nod to NIPI to develop AI-powered tool to track Covid-19 suspects
Sanjay Kumar, Bihar’s principal secretary (health), said NIPI, which is working with the Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence, would take four to six week to develop the tool.
Bihar has given approval to the Norway India Partnership Initiative (NIPI) to develop artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tool to track suspects of the coronavirus disease through cough sound analysis.
Sanjay Kumar, Bihar’s principal secretary (health), said NIPI, which is working with the Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence, would take four to six week to develop the tool. Wadhwani Institute is India’s first research institute dedicated to developing artificial intelligence solutions for social good.
“Every cough has a distinct pattern. Cough of a Covid-19 patient will also have a distinct pattern, different from other (influenza-like) coughs, which a machine will be able to recognise,” Kumar said.
NIPI, he said, would need a fairly large number, at least 500 Covid-19 patients, to record their coughing pattern to develop the tool. Once it has as reference the coughing pattern, the AI-powered machine would be able to detect a Covid-19 suspect as soon as the individual coughs in front of the machine, said Kumar.
“I have given NIPI the go-ahead to collect Covid-19 related information it may require from us. Since we do not have as many Covid-19 patients, the NIPI may need to collate data from patients in other states as well,” added Kumar.
Four new Covid-19 cases were recorded during the last 24 hours, taking Bihar’s tally up to 74 on Thursday.
“The AI-based tool seems exciting and may have the potential to triage suspected Covid-19 cases through cough sound analysis,” said Kumar.
“We granted NIPI our approval in principle on April 14 to develop the tool in keeping with our proactive response to Covid-19 crisis and several measures taken to identify suspected cases, testing the high-risk population and quarantining them, besides looking at the introduction of innovative solutions to control and break the chain of transmission of infection Covid,” he said.
NIPI was established in 2006 through a joint statement by the Prime Ministers of Norway and India. It provides strategic, catalytic and innovative support to the Indian healthcare system for improved maternal and child health.
The initiative is one out of five bilateral partnerships that Norway has entered into to support the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals.
NIPI provides technical support to Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.