Currently [@4:37 pm, 15/06/2020] the global number of confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease stands at an alarming 8.03 lacs with nearly 3.32 lacs in India. Covid-19 can attack almost any one of the 130+ crore Indians. However, due to lack of a precise and quick detection method detecting a Covid- 19 patient is a daunting challenge. So, we have to first reduce the time delay of Covid-19 testing to get a quick and accurate test result.
Considering 50+ age citizens as our proposed solution’s (named ASTRA hereafter) target group (being more vulnerable) nearly 1/3 rd of 130 crore population (i.e. ~44 crore) are at a risk. Specifically targeting 60+ aged citizens the number could be 2/3 rd of 44 crores i.e. nearly 28-30 crore, an uncontrollable number beyond imagination. If at all we further dream big, nearly 1/8 th (based on a similar logic as above) of the total world population of 7.8 billion i.e. nearly 90 crore people, can well be targeted as our solution space
As ASTRA is universally applicable beyond Indian boundaries. Chemical/molecular test kits and Infrared thermometers based thermal scanning are being used currently. But they have the disadvantages of limited availability, high cost, time consuming and not being fool proof. By far very limited rigorous testing has been done and hence the confirmed cases appear to be still low in India. Suspect patients have been able to successfully dodge or hoax the thermal scanning test stations by taking doses of Paracetamol. ASTRA proposes to act as a second screening layer after
Thermal Scanning such that a person who skipped thermal screening will be unable to ditch it. ASTRA is likely to be a cheaper, viable and scalable solution having universal application. ‘Prevention is better than cure’. So ideally the disease should not even be given birth to. In this initial domain different medical, political, socio-ethnic and biological groups are already doing a wonderful job in parallel. Hence, we did not target the problem of stopping and curing the novel Corona virus. However, if the virus is anyhow contacted then how to control the menace and further spread of this mystique virus?
This is precisely our problem solution domain. As a team of engineers with core competency and vivid experience in modern day technology of Artificial Intelligence (AI), soft Computing (in general) and Deep Learning (in particular), we chose this problem of Image Processing based Covid-19 patient classification, as a robust software solution.
Besides we possess prior work experience on the application of a similar lung virus imaging concept as also the development of a complete hardware and software system for the highly challenging futuristic problem of SELF DRIVING CAR (being a dynamic problem).
The problem of COVID 19 patient detection was chosen owing to its severe impact, if left undiagnosed and the patient allowed to freely mingle in the society. It has a significance of High Severity owing to the exponential growth hazard posed once contacted by this deadly virus. The impact of the problem is adverse of the highest order as no vaccines are presently available world over and the virus infected cases multiply at an exponential rate with very high mortality rates for 60+ aged citizens.
The problem may not be encountered frequently (hopefully) but at present it is absolutely critical to have a robust and fool proof COVID19 positive patient detection system. God forbidding, in the near future a similar outbreak of COVID19 may happen anywhere, anytime unless the virus is totally wiped out from mother Earth. Almost everyone of any class of society will be benefitted by ASTRA as it can be easily installed on the existing X-ray machines at airports, railway stations etc. as well as even in schools, colleges, shopping malls, hotels etc.
The social impact, economic gains and positive changes related to solving this problem are beyond comprehension in quantitative terms but can be summarised as EXTRA EXTRAORDINARILY HIGH. The present COVID19 outbreak has shook the entire world already, including the superpowers and is well established as the most devastating pandemic ever in the history of mankind. Undetected COVID +ve patients thus are a national security threat endangering the lives of hundreds of citizens, thereby motivating us to find a solution of scanning such novel Corona positive patients.
Key Elements of Innovation:
ii. Easy to install
iii. Low Cost
i. Mass Screening