‘Our Vision Is To Create A Better World Through AI & Robotics Revolution: Umakant Soni, ARTPARK

In an interview with BW Disrupt, Umakant Soni, CEO & Founder, ARTPARK, talks about how technology will be a solution in coming times, and more

What is XraySetu? How does it work?

Developed by a not-for-profit foundation called ARTPARK (AI and Robotics Technology Park), set up by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, with support from the Department of Science & Technology (DST) of the Central Government, in collaboration with Bangalore-based HealthTech startup Niramai and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), XraySetu is specifically designed to identify COVID-19 positive patients even from low- resolution Chest X-Ray images sent over WhatsApp.

To conduct the health check, any doctor would be required to visit company’s website. The platform will then redirect the person to another page, wherein he or she can choose to engage with the WhatsApp-based chatbot via web or smartphone application. Or the doctor can simply send a WhatsApp message to the phone number +91 8046163838 to start the XraySetu service.

1. A rural doctor then takes a phone picture of Chest Xray of a suspected patient

2. The doctor sends the X-Ray pic Over to a Whatsapp number XraySetu (+918046163838) via chatbot

3. Technician does Image review and anonymization and sends it to XraySetu AI service

4. XraySetu AI Service Analyses the Xray image using specialized machine learning and deep learning algorithms built for detecting unique Covid features in lungs.

5. Full 2 page report with probability of COVID, pneumonia, markings on the lung image in minutes, with explainable AI with annotations is automatically generated.

6. The doctor receives the report from the same WhatsApp number

7. Doctor reads the report and appropriately advices the patient

What other diseases can it identify?

Apart from COVID, XraySetu can detect 14 other lung ailments like:

1. Atelectasis

2. Cardiomegaly

3. Effusion

4. Infiltration

5. Mass

6. Nodule

7. Pneumonia

8. Pneumothorax

9. Consolidation

10. Edema

11. Emphysema

12. Fibrosis

13. Pleural_Thickeninig

14. Hernia

15. Covid-19

Why XraySetu? How will it help Doctors?

Amid the second wave of Coronavirus which has now reached the rural parts of India as well, it has become critical to drive the rapid COVID-19 testing. At a time when tests like RTPCR and CT Scan are taking several days in some cities, the challenge is a lot more for the rural areas. Therefore, It has now become necessary to have other alternatives as RT-PCR tests also give a ‘false negative’ for some variants.

Free of cost services like XraySetu will help doctors in the rural parts of the country to detect COVID infection in their patients within minutes.

How effective is it to detect COVID-19? How accurate/authentic the results are?

Tested and validated with over 1,25 000 X-ray images from National Institute of Health, UK, as well as over 1000+ Indian COVID patients from, XraySetu can detect low resolution X-Ray images over WhatsApp, which is a commonly used networking platform, and share the report with the doctor within minutes. It has shown excellent performance with Sensitivity: 98.86% and Specificity: 74.74%.

How cost-effective is it than already existing technologies?

While accessibility is the key attribute for XraySetu, we at ARTPARK, are making our best effort to reach all places where X-ray machines are installed. The service is completely free of cost as we wish to help as many people as possible.

What is the importance of AI for the Indian Healthcare System?

There is a severe mismatch between the numbers of patients and expert doctors in India. AI can help bridge that gap by acting as a “force-multiplier” for the doctors so that they can attend to more patients in a timely fashion. XraySetu is a case in point where the radiology expert’s knowledge of interpreting XRays is captured in an AI program and is made available to non-expert physicians for quick opinion and action. In the normal course – they would have had to wait for the expert radiologist to attend to the xray report – which adds to critical delays in treatment.

Tell us about the Visions and Missions of ARTPARK?

Our vision is to create a better world through inclusive AI & Robotics Revolution. We believe in moving forward the key technology milestones in AI & Robotics in a “Mission Mode” model. We look for the intersection of societal scale impact, economic sustainability and technology challenges in choosing our problems.

Brief about your upcoming projects?

· DataSetu

XraySetu is working towards maintaining the highest standards around data privacy and confidentiality. As we go forward, we will be using the latest technologies in confidential computing and security to ensure that the patient’s data are protected, yet at the same time, they are available for furthering the development of AI algorithms that will benefit society. Datasetu seeks to create high quality data for collaboration based on the key insights of the need for data confidentiality. 

· Avtaar Robotics

Avtaar robotics allows emotive robotic nurses such as “Asha” to transport healthcare professionals’ skills across the globe. Connecting avatar robots to remote human workflows with 5G & Wifi 6 can create jobs in the developing world.

· Bhasha Setu

Bhasha Setu will allow privacy-preserving collection, sharing and analytics of language data to drive AI/ML research for usage of Indic languages (including Kannada) in natural human interactions in AI, robotics, autonomous systems and their various applications in healthcare, retail, governance, education, mobility, agriculture, smart cities and others.

· Akashmarg

Drone Skyways, roads in the skies for autonomous drones, just like we have roads on the ground.We are building the open standards for such drone-skyways.

· Project Eklavya

Remote Learning school for millions of school kids in India who don’t have access to good schools and labs. Enabled by AI & tele robotics and driven by peer learning concepts, this can create equal access to learning for millions of young learners in the developing world.

Source: Business World