Published: 24th April 2020
Upload your Chest X-Ray, check if you have COVID-19 in one second: Chennai college develops new AI-driven software
The team has devised an AI tool based on neural network that would detect COVID-19, community-acquired pneumonia and normal chest conditions just from Chest X-Rays
A Chennai-based team of researchers has used AI to detect COVID-19 and pneumonia just by scanning a chest X-Ray. The check can be done gby anyone online by merely uploading the X-Ray as you would upload a picture on Instagram. Talk about zero contact! The team from Rajalakshmi Group of Institutions has devised an AI tool based on a neural network that would detect COVID-19, community-acquired pneumonia and normal people just from chest X-rays. Ashwin Ramesh, a third-year computer science student along with four of his professors came up with the concept, "My professors approached me with a data set and we discussed if there was something that we can do to help contain the spread of the disease. We spent an entire month of sleepless nights to devise this AI tool but it all paid off in the end," Ashwin said.
How does it work and is it accurate? "A total of 14148 images were used in the training process and the tool has a 95.4 percent accuracy," Ashwin said. According to the team, the tool doesn't require any installation and it is just a simple website which can be accessed from anywhere. "It is as simple as uploading a photo on social media and the results come within a second of uploading," the team said. Besides Ashwin, the professors on the team are S Rajkumar, Professor and Head of the Biomedical Engineering department, V Sapthagirivasan, Professor and V Rajaraman, Assistant Professor at Computer Science Engineering department.
Is this better or quicker than conventional medical exams? "This device is not replacing medical professionals but is just a complementary tool and will be of assistance to those working to diagnose the disease," Ashwin said. Even though he has a deep interest in machine learning, this is the first time the student is working on medical imaging. "This is something that has been done before. What we tried to find is if the same logic can be applied to detecting COVID-19 too and it worked!" he adds.
Ashwin does have one request though for the government, "If we can get more Chest X-Rays we could do more trials and increase the accuracy rates," he ventures. The team is also planning on publishing a paper on the software soon. The software is being given free of cost of the government by the Institute as a contribution to help the community.
"We are keen to support all government and private hospitals with this quick and accurate tool which will be free of cost. We at Rajalakshmi Institutions have always made it a point to give back to the society and this is a milestone in that regard," said Dr Haree S Megananth from the management of the Institute, who is also a radiologist himself.