COVID-19 | Hyderabad firm builds app to screen coronavirus cases

It will assess the risk level by listening to the subject’s cough

March 29, 2020 08:09 am | Updated 08:09 am IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

The research team of Zensark gathering field data ahead of the rollout of the app.

The research team of Zensark gathering field data ahead of the rollout of the app.

A Hyderabad-based startup called Salcit Technologies, in partnership with IT firm Zensark Technologies Private Limited, has developed an app that can reportedly screen a large number of people for symptoms of coronavirus.

The founders of the company believe that a critical aspect of containing the pandemic is the ability to rapidly screen and put on surveillance a large segment of the population over an extended period of time.

Keeping this in mind, the firms have developed an app named ‘kAs’ (cough in Sanskrit). It is being tested and is likely to be rolled out for a free launch on March 31.

Giving details about the app, Manmohan Jain, CEO of Zensark, said that it is powered by artificial intelligence platform Swaasa and can play a pivotal role in helping the government combat the ‘once-in-a-century pandemic’, as Bill Gates termed it. The app is developed on the guidelines laid out by the WHO, and asks 15 questions to the subject. The subject is then asked to cough into the microphone of the smartphone. “Based on the answers to the questionnaire and the coughing sound, the app generates a rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest risk level. The app then suggests a risk level based on the data,” Mr. Jain said. According to him, assessing the sickness based on the coughing sound is a proven technique and Salcit has an associated patent also called ‘A system for analysing risk associated with cough sounds’. Salcit-Zensark is already in discussions with government health departments, he said. “The app accomplishes screening and assessment, and has the ability to simultaneously screen and surveil tens of thousands of subjects and monitors the condition of individuals,” Mr. Jain said.

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