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COVID 19 Update: BMC to launch Voice-based COVID 19 Testing

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To ramp up the testing for COVID 19, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to launch an AI-based technology that will use a voice sample in the smartphones to detect the virus. The innovative voice-based tests are said to generate results within 30 seconds.

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An Israel-based company developed the AI-technology for detecting the presence of the infection in the people. The process can be carried out on smartphones, computers, or tablets. Many countries, including the USA, Israel, France, etc., have utilized the voice-based system for COVID 19 testing.

COVID-19 tests in India crossed the three crore mark on August 16. The Health Ministry thinks that “India has set a new landmark.” And it is time to expand the diagnostic procedure.

Suresh Kakani, Additional Commissioner, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said, “This technology is in the initial stage, and its results need to be cross-checked. Therefore we have decided to conduct this study.”

How will the voice-based Covid 19 testing work?

Dr. Andrade explained that whenever someone develops symptoms of COVID 19, their voices are first to get affected as the disease will initially attack the breathing system. However, many times the changes are not perceivable by human ears, but computer systems will easily detect any changes.

8 4 COVID 19 Update: BMC to launch Voice-based COVID 19 Testing
( Image by OWHC)

To carry out the test, one needs to download the app and record their voice samples. The person will be asked to count numbers from 50 to 70.

The voices of the people who have tested negative for the virus will be pre-loaded in the app. With the help of the ‘Voice Biomarkers’ and AI-technology, it will automatically match the person’s voice with already installed views. And produce results in half a minute.

What are the benefits of voice-based Covid 19 testing?

This non-invasive testing system can diagnose the results within 30 seconds. Unlike other processes, it is much cheaper and quicker. A rapid antigen test would take up to 30 minutes. It is the newest test in town.  

While an RT-PCR test would take 24 hours, the RT-PCR analysis is a conventional method in which a swab sample is made from a person’s throat.

9 4 COVID 19 Update: BMC to launch Voice-based COVID 19 Testing
( Image from the Weather Channel)

The smartphone-based detecting will prove useful for identifying asymptomatic (hardly any symptoms) at crowded places like malls, railways stations, airports, etc.

When will the voice-based Covid 19 testing start?

The pilot project will be conducted on 1,000 patients admitted at Nesco Covid-19 facility in Mumbai. The study will continue for two-three months.

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Aditya Thackeray has informed us that the BMC is set to do a pilot test of the AI program.

Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani said, “ We will compare the voice analysis findings with RT-PCR results. If the pilot shows promise, the BMC will plan to use the program in other hospitals.”

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