Asymptomatic COVID-19 patients continue to be a major contributor to the spread of the novel virus. It is a challenge that government bodies and healthcare agencies have been unable to meet despite ramping up corona testing.
But, a research suggests that AI for COVID-19 can potentially solve this problem. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an artificial intelligence-based model that can effectively detect corona infection even among asymptomatic patients.
AI Model Tests Cough Sounds To Detect Corona
Researchers around the world are looking for ways to easily detect coronavirus infections especially among asymptomatic carriers. The MIT AI model for COVID-19,in particular, does so by listening to an individual’s cough.
While it may sound strange at first but researchers have found subtle differences in the sound of cough of a healthy and infected person. It further uses artificial intelligence technology to check for COVID-19 infection indicators in an individual’s cough recordings. However, these indicators were largely not decipherable to the human ear.
Brian Subirana, A Research Scientist at Auto-ID Lab in MIT told TechCrunch, “We think this shows that the way you produce sound, changes when you have COVID, even if you’re asymptomatic.” Team also hopes to launch a free AI-based COVID-19 testing app.
A large number of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 with mild infection often don’t show any symptoms. But, they can infect other people with higher health risks and co-morbidities. Thus, a free app for all can help in raising red flags in the initial phase itself reducing risks for further transmission.
Subirana has further added in another interview that the effective implementation of the AI diagnostic tool could diminish the spread of the pandemic if everyone uses it before going to a classroom, factory or restaurant.
AI tool for COVID-19 used in the study was found to have 100% accuracy rate for symptomatic patients and gave 98.5 percent accuracy for overall Covid-19 patients.However, MIT researchers have also cautioned that it isn’t a diagnostic test but is only meant to alert individual before seeking medical help and further testing.