X-Ray Setu plans to on-board 10K doctors for Covid detection in rural areas, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Artificial intelligence-based X-Ray Setu, which operates through Whatsapp, plans to onboard 10,000 doctors in small towns and rural areas where RT-PCR tests and CT-scans are not available to detect Covid-19 cases, a senior official of AI and robotics body Artpark said on Tuesday.

Non-profit organisation ‘Artpark’, CEO, Umakant Soni told PTI that X-Ray Setu, developed in collaboration with start-up Niramai and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), detects Covid-19 with the help of simple X-ray which is processed using an AI system in the backend without charging any fee at present.

The chest X-ray of a person is uploaded by the doctor or radiologist on Whatsapp bot of X-Ray setu which analyses the image and generates a report in 10-15 minutes.

Soni said that the technology has been operational since last one week and 500 doctors have come on board to use it.

“We are planning to create a strong network of 10,000 doctors in the next 15 days who are trained in leveraging XraySetu, so that when the third Covid wave comes, we are ready with solutions that can reach doctors in rural areas,” Soni said.

He said that India had 5,335 rural community health centres (CHCs) as of March 31, 2019 that can be used and private estimates indicate that two-third of them have a working X-Ray machine and a technician to operate it.

“We are making our best effort to reach all places where X-ray machines are installed. We will not charge any fee for the next 6-8 months. Even on a paid basis, it will be less than Rs 100 per test,” Soni said.

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

Niramai founder, CEO and CTO Geetha Manjunath said X-Ray Setu aims at creating an ecosystem for affordable and rapid screening in rural areas, for lung infections like Covid, pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc.

“We believe X-Ray Setu can play an important role to address the delays and false negatives in the RT PCR test. CT Scan leads to heavy exposure to radiation compared to an X-Ray. X-Ray Setu can be a supplement to RT PCR and CT Scan,” Manjunath said.

Artpark (AI and Robotics Technologies Park) co-founder and chief information officer Subhashis Banerjee said X-Ray Setu intervention can help in the early treatment of patients which in case of an RT-PCR test takes over 24 hours and in some cases, it has been 3-4 days long wait.

“Release of patients from hospitals has been on the basis of quantitative parameters. With X-Ray Setu we can add some qualitative parameters because it is harmful to expose a person to CT Scan radiation in a short time,” Banerjee said.

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