BMC to use AI-based voice analysis to detect COVID-19 risk
Mumbai's civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), will start a pilot project of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based voice analysis test to determine the risk of COVID-19. The BMC had started the study in August with an Israeli company called Vocalis Healthcare. The NESCO Center in Mumbai was chosen as the site for research. Here are more details on this.
How does the voice analysis test work?
According to reports, the results of the voice analysis can indicate the presence of the virus in 30 seconds. Further, those who are found to be at high risk for COVID-19 will undergo a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (or RT-PCR) swab test to confirm whether or not they are infected.
Suspects' voice to be compared with that of COVID-19 patients
Explaining the testing procedure, the BMC has said in a statement that the voice samples of suspected patients will be analyzed using an app based on AI. The samples will then be compared with the voice of a person who is suffering from COVID-19 to provide effective analysis. The said app can be downloaded to any mobile phone or tablet.
'The pandemic helped us spruce up use of tech'
Aaditya Thackeray, Maharashtra's Minister of Tourism and Environment, had earlier announced the move through social media. "BMC will do a pilot of AI-based COVID-19 detection test using voice samples. Of course, regular RT-PCR test will follow but the globally tested technique proves that the pandemic has helped us see things differently and spruce up use of tech in our health infrastructure," he had said.
Voice analysis earlier used in some European countries
The voice analysis test has earlier been used to detect COVID-19 risk in some European countries, including France and Italy. It has been reported that the AI-based procedure has yielded 80% correct results through voice check. In Mumbai, the novel coronavirus has infected 2,83,467 and claimed the lives of 10,884. Across India, the disease sickened over 94 lakh and killed more than 1.30 lakh.