Coronavirus testing in India: India has been emphasizing on the continuous ramping up of Coronavirus testing in order to track and check the spread of the deadly virus. The common types of Coronavirus testing in India are reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and the Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT) for COVID-19. Knowing that Covid-19 testing is the first-line defense against the Covid-19 pandemic, at least until a vaccine arrives in the market, India has been testing a number of new methods of Covid-19 testing.
These new types of Covid-19 testing are based on simpler ways to detect Coronavirus like from breath, saliva, and cough sounds. These testing methods focus on helping people collect their own samples instead like nasal or throat swabs.
Cough against Covid: Mumbai-based Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence has been working on developing AI-based technology which has the capacity to detect Covid-19 from cough sounds. The technology can work in asymptomatic cases. The project is backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One can use this technology on his/her smartphone. They need to record the cough sounds and note down the symptoms. A study has been conducted on over 3,600 individuals. The research paper is yet-to-be-peer-reviewed, as per a report in Indian Express.
AI-based Cough against Covid testing will help healthcare and civic authorities expand testing and also focus their resources better, by filtering out patients with Covid-19 –like symptoms but without the infection, Dr Rahul Panicker, Chief Research and Innovation Officer, told IE.
‘Coswara’ project by IISC-Bengaluru: Indian Institute of Science (IISC)-based researchers have been working on a tool that will help Coronavirus diagnosis based on cough and speech sounds. Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has granted its approval to IISC to gather respiratory sound data from hospitals that have been providing treatment since the last week of May.
“As the major symptoms of the disease include respiratory problems, the project aims to detect and quantify the biomarkers of the disease in the acoustics of these sounds. The project requires participants to perform a recording of breathing sounds, cough sounds, sustained phonation of vowel sounds, and a counting exercise,” PTI quoted a researcher as saying.
India-Israel working on saliva, breath, voice Covid-19 tests: A joint trial is being conducted by India and Israel on as many as four rapid tests for Coronavirus. These testing methods, if developed, will be able to detect Covud-19 within a minute. One technology is a voice test-based method. Artificial intelligence will help identify the change of voice in patients. The diagnosis can be done through a cell phone, IE quoted the statement as saying.
The second technology is based on a breath analyzer test. The patient needs to blow into a tube. Israeli firm NanoScent is making the breath analyzer test kits and revealed trials in Israel showed 85 per cent accuracy. The other two technologies focus on the identification of the COVID-19 in a saliva sample and isolate proteins related to Coronavirus respectively.
These trials are going on at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in Delhi.
‘Gargle and spit’ Covid-19 test: AIIMS, New Delhi has been conducting a study that focuses on gargled water samples as a viable alternative to swab collection. “Majority (72 per cent) of the patients reported moderate-to-severe discomfort with swab collection in comparison to 24 per cent reporting only mild discomfort with gargle collection,” AIIMS, Delhi was quoted as saying by IE.