Now use X-rays to detect coronavirus; 98% accurate, claim scientists

Glasgow:

A team of scientists in Scotland has found a way to detect the presence of coronavirus infection in a person using X-rays. The test uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict the presence of the

Covid-19

virus inside a person.

Scientists at the University of West Scotland (UWS) have developed the test, claiming it is 98 percent effective. They have also claimed that it would be faster than the PCR test,

which takes hours

to deliver results.

Professor Naeem Ramzan, who led the three-person team at UWS, said, “There has long been a need for a quick and reliable tool to detect the Covid-19 virus, and this became even more so with the advent of the Omicron variant.”

How does the test work?

According to UWS researchers, the new technology uses X-ray technology to compare scans from a database of about 3,000 images related to patients with Covid-19, healthy individuals and viral pneumonia.

An Artificial Intelligence (AI) process, known as a deep conventional neural network, then uses an algorithm to analyze and diagnose visual imagery. During a comprehensive testing phase, the technique proved to be more than 98 percent accurate, UWS scientists said.

What is the utility of the new test technique?

Professor Ramzan said that many countries are unable to conduct large number of Covid-19 tests due to limited diagnostic tools. His research uses easily accessible techniques to detect viruses quickly.

“This can be important and potentially life-saving when diagnosing severe cases of the virus, helping to determine what treatment may be needed,” the professor said.

However, he acknowledged that Covid-19 symptoms did not appear on X-rays during the early stages of the infection, so it could not completely replace PCR tests.

Milan Radosavljevic, vice principal professor of research, innovation and engagement at UWS, and another member of the team said they now plan to expand the study.

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