SRINAGAR: Artificial intelligence (AI) systems have been introduced by the authorities in Kashmir to identify possible cases of tuberculosis in order to improve surveillance and work towards TB-free status for the division.
Quoting a State Tuberculosis official, KNO reported that an artificial intelligence system has been implemented in districts that have achieved tuberculosis-free status in order to maintain increased surveillance and ultimately eradicate the disease.
Although artificial intelligence algorithms are capable of effectively detecting possible cases of tuberculosis, the official suggested a thorough clinical assessment and additional testing. “Use of AI results in fewer patients needing extensive testing, which improves the effectiveness and affordability of resource allocation.”
“This combined approach significantly reduces costs while enhancing the detection of TB cases. By screening patients in the community and detecting TB early, better outcomes are achieved, and shorter treatment courses become possible,” the health official said, adding that early detection is crucial in limiting the spread of this highly contagious disease.
The official added that the introduction of AI in tuberculosis diagnosis offers hope in the global fight against the disease, particularly in remote areas with limited diagnostic facilities.
The AI system, already operational in tuberculosis-free districts, is set to expand across the entire Kashmir region, he said, adding that training has been provided to staff, and a mobile app has been developed to enable people to record their cough sounds.
“Through this app, a person will be informed whether he/she needs to go for further screening or not as a cough bank with around 20,000 cough sounds (under national study) has been recorded to identify sounds resembling with potential case of TB,” he said.
Dr Adfar Qadri, the State Tuberculosis Officer, said that J&K has become a trendsetter in healthcare as two more districts – Anantnag and Pulwama – have been declared TB-free after Srinagar and Budgam.
Srinagar received a gold medal for its efforts, contributing to the region’s success in combating tuberculosis, Dr Adfar said, adding, “We will achieve TB elimination by 2025 as we are doing intensified and active case finding and case screening.”