An IIT-Mandi incubated startup has built a cost-effective Artificial Intelligence-based medical imaging solution that has the potential to revolutionise the early detection of respiratory abnormalities, hepatobiliary diseases and genetic disorders in children, officials said.
The innovators at Dectrocel Healthcare have developed a platform in which digital and analogue chest X-Ray images and pictures of children are uploaded and, in a few minutes, the algorithm is able to diagnose respiratory abnormalities that have significant mortalities such as tuberculosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Saumya Shukla, co-founder of Dectrocel Healthcare and Research Private Limited, said, "With AI (Artificial Intelligence) and ML (Machine Learning), especially in the context of health care, this epoch will see the birth of super-intelligence and, with it, humans and machines expanding into the universe.
"Data is the new oil and currency but now systems that make sense out of data will be the new oil and currency." Shukla explained that India has a population of 1.4 billion and, according to medical reports, one in five people suffers from a chronic disease.
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Hepatobiliary diseases, especially malignancies, and respiratory conditions such as interstitial lung disease (ILD), COPD and lung cancer are a global health crisis and most of the existing diagnostic solutions are pretty much focused on late-stage diseases, she added.
"Most of these diseases do not have any major symptoms at the beginning, making it imperative to diagnose these at the preventive health care stage and enable early treatment. In order to prevent this, Dectrocel Healthcare is working on creating affordable diagnostic tools that can help in the early detection of such chronic diseases so that the patient has a good chance of getting cured with promising health outcomes," Shukla said.
The researchers claimed that developed tools will enable early detection, provide access to specialised health care, reduce cases of misdiagnosis and address unaffordability for the public at large.
"Technology lends the ability to bring specialised-level health care to the remotest part of the world at an affordable price point. At Dectrocel Healthcare, we have chosen our home state of Uttar Pradesh to create this impact at scale to begin with and then replicate it nationally and globally," Shukla added.