Jammu & Kashmir

AI-based system introduced for detection of TB cases in Kashmir

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A man receives treatment at ASYM district hospital in Budgam. [FPK Photo/ Kaisar Ali]

Srinagar: Authorities in Kashmir have initiated Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems to detect potential tuberculosis cases to enhance surveillance and work towards making the division TB-free.

An official of the State Tuberculosis Office said that an artificial intelligence system has been started in districts that have been already tuberculosis-free to keep more surveillance and fully eradicate the disease.

While AI algorithms can efficiently identify potential tuberculosis cases, the official recommended a comprehensive clinical examination and follow-up tests. He said the integration of AI reduces the number of patients requiring extensive tests, making resource allocation more efficient and cost-effective.

“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.

He said though TB cases are on the decline in Kashmir, the disease continues to remain a significant global threat. “But with the power of AI, we are hopeful of eradicating this global menace at the earliest,” he said.

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.”

Dr Qadri said tuberculosis is declining in Kashmir. “We will achieve TB elimination by 2025 as we are doing intensified and active case finding and case screening. Several measures have been taken over the years to develop infrastructure and employ manpower for the early detection and effective treatment of the disease.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by FPK staff and is published from a syndicated feed from KNO.)

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