DRDO develops AI algorithm to detect presence of COVID from chest X-rays

5C Network, which is connected to over 1,000 hospitals across the country, would now make ATMAN available to state-run and private hospitals
Representative Image | Pic: Pixabay
Representative Image | Pic: Pixabay

DRDO has developed an Artificial Intelligence algorithm that can detect the presence of COVID-19 disease in chest X-rays.

Named ATMAN AI, the tool was developed by DRDO's Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), with the support of 5C Network & HCG Academics.

The ATMAN AI is an artificial intelligence tool for chest X-ray screening as a triaging tool in COVID-19 diagnosis which is a method for rapid identification and assessment of lung involvement, according to a statement issued by HCG Academics on Friday.

This would be utilised by 5C Network, the country's largest digital network of radiologists, with support of HCG Academics, the statement said.

Triaging COVID suspect patients using X-ray is fast, cost-effective and efficient.

"It can be a useful tool especially in smaller towns in our country owing to lack of easy access to CT scans," it said.

This would also reduce the existing burden on radiologists and make CT machines being used for COVID be utilised for other diseases and illnesses owing to overload for CT scans, it said.

The novel feature namely Believable AI, along with existing ResNet models, has improved the accuracy of the software. Being a machine learning tool, the accuracy would improve continually, the statement said.

Chest X-Rays of RT-PCR positive hospitalised patients in various stages of disease involvement were retrospectively analysed using Artificial Intelligence (Deep Learning & Convolutional Neural Network) models by an indigenously developed deep learning application by CAIR-DRDO for COVID - 19 screening using digital chest X-rays.

The algorithm showed an accuracy of 96.73 per cent, it said.

Director of CAIR, DRDO, U K Singh was quoted as saying:The development of ATMAN, an Artificial Intelligence- based diagnostic tool for Chest X-ray screening is a part of DRDOs effort to help clinicians and partners on the frontline to have the tools they need to rapidly diagnose and effectively treat COVID-19 patients.

"Given the limited testing facilities for coronavirus, there is a rush to develop AI tools for quick analysis using X-rays. The tool would help in automatically detecting radiological findings indicative of COVID-19 in seconds, enabling physicians and radiologists to more effectively triage the cases, especially in an emergency environment", he added.

CEO of 5C network Kalyan Sivasailam said, "We are excited to develop ATMAN AI for COVID detection in chest X-rays. Utilising the algorithms for chest X-ray is an effective triaging tool which can be accessible to the common man in remotest districts of this country. This will have a significant impact on timely care and appropriate treatment."

With the ongoing second wave of infections, this application can help with a more directed and focused approach, the statement said.

5C Network, which is connected to over 1,000 hospitals across the country, would now make ATMAN available to state-run and private hospitals, it was stated.

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