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BMC will soon detect Coronavirus using an AI-based voice testing procedure!

This testing procedure can calculate the results in mere 30 seconds!

The BMC is developing an artificial intelligence program to diagnose Covid-19 in the people of Mumbai, through the medium of voice testing. This non-invasive vocal band sampling procedure will be first launched at a Nesco Jumbo facility in Goregaon next week. This would be the pilot screening of the AI program that will sample about 1000 suspected and positive patients at the facility. Voice testing has previously been used in European countries like France and Italy for the detection of the coronavirus.

Technology to the rescue

The BMC has been employing fast-track testing measure to detect Covid-19 in patients to arrest the spread of coronavirus through timely precautions. From RT-PCR that takes more than 8 hours to rapid antigen and antibody tests that detect the presence of virus in 30 minutes, the Municipal Co-operation is all set to decrease the testing duration further through a voice testing application. This testing procedure is expected to analyse and diagnose the patients in a record time of 30 seconds.

How does this work?

The procedure of the voice testing is simple and requires the suspecting individual to speak into device; a mobile phone or computer supporting the voice diagnosis program. Besides the voice sample, the vitals of the person will also be submitted. The audio analysing app will check the voice biomarkers that is timbre, quality, frequency and noise distortion to detect the virus.

The coronavirus manifestation is said to attack the respiratory system of the patients which results them to develop breathing problems.This has direct impact on the proportion of exhaled air. These variations in the exhaled air hit the voice box to produce varying sound while speaking. The difference is un-perceivable to human ear but can be detected using the artificial intelligence.

There are about 63,000 parameters of human voice, however, an individual has no more than 12. This comes as a major set-back to the authenticity of the program and may provide a large number of positives or false negatives. The testing and screening of the legitimacy of this procedure is underway and the pilot screening at Nesco Facility, Goregaon will further clear the haze over the preciseness. BMC is testing this against the prime standard of RT-PCR testing and upon the last clearance from the Ethics Community, the application will be used in government run Cooper Hospital. This testing procedure is estimated to diagnose 2,000 people in a single day!

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