Artificial Intelligence Better at Diagnosing Malaria than Conventional Methods
Artificial Intelligence Better at Diagnosing Malaria than Conventional Methods

Artificial Intelligence Better at Diagnosing Malaria than Conventional Methods

Researchers at Intellectual Venture Laboratory built a microscope whose deep-learning software uses neural networks to diagnose Malaria

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also joined forces with the Gates foundation in its fight against Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease. MIT Technology Review reported that the research at Intellectual Venture Laboratory with the support from Bill and Malinda Gates formulated the algorithms that can detect Malaria’s presence.

To diagnose Malaria, scientists built "Autoscope," a microscope with deep-learning capabilities. The apparatus works in combination with a laptop that runs algorithms to search for patterns suggesting Malaria in a given sample. Autoscope does so by analyzing a sample’s visual representation. The software had been fed with visual cues such as shapes, color, and texture, which doctors use in a diagnostic test for Malaria parasite.

So far, Autoscope has been found to diagnose Malaria with 90% accuracy. Unlike existing diagnostic tools that only confirm Malaria’s existence, it can determine the disease’s severity too. This indicates that the technology can be used to note anti-malarial drug resistance.

Just last month, the UK government and Gates foundation partnered up to completely eradicate malaria from this planet and pledged $4 billion support for the cause. According to WHO, Malaria has decreased 60% worldwide in last 15 years, but it is still prevalent in the African region. Hence, a more reliable tool to diagnose Malaria parasite is a leap toward the eradication plan, as many still go undiagnosed in underdeveloped countries due to lack of modern tools.

Although the Autoscope has great utility in clinical settings apart from research, it is not ready to be rolled out for commercial use yet. Its cost needs to be adjusted in order to make it an easily accessible tool. The role of AI in medicine is an example for those who find its existence to be counter-productive for mankind.

Editing by Nida Mujahid; Graphics by Ahsan Mansoor

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