Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to conduct a study to assess the efficacy of ‘non-invasive voice sample analysis’. It is an artificial intelligence (AI)-based technology which claims to detect coronavirus infection within half a minute.
The technology detects viral infection by analysing sound waves of patients.
“This technology is in the initial stage and its results need to be cross-checked. Therefore we have decided to conduct this study,” said Suresh Kakani, Additional Commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
The Mumbai-civic body is keen to use this technology as it is a non-invasive test without any side effects. Its other advantages over the existing tests include: it is cheaper, it gives resulst only in 30 seconds.
To asses its efficiency, BMC will conducted a study on 2,000 patients, admitted at a jumbo COVID-19 facility in suburban Goregaon.
If the technology proves successful, it will be useful for detecting asymptomatic people at crowded places like airports, malls, theatres, bus stands and railway stations.
This AI-based technology is developed by an Israel- based company. The test can be conducted using smartphones, tablets or computers. Patients taking the AI-based test will be asked to count numerals from 50 to 70. ‘Voice biomarkers’ will be used to detect COVID-19 infection.
Covid infected people suffer from breathing problems which affects the amount of air exhaled, thereby interacting with inflamed muscles on its journey to generate voices or speech.
Patients testing positive will undergo a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab test to confirm the COVID-19 diagnosis. RT–PCR is one of the most accurate laboratory methods for detecting, tracking and studying the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Real time RT–PCR is a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material in any pathogen, including a virus. Originally, the method used radioactive isotope markers to detect targeted genetic materials, but subsequent refining has led to the replacement of isotopic labelling with special markers, most frequently fluorescent dyes.