Can we prevent Dengue related deaths through Artificial Intelligence? New study suggests ‘Yes’
New Delhi, Sep 18: As India continues to combat the deadly coronavirus pandemic, an outbreak of dengue fever has raised concern among people in North India.
Since the beginning of September, the dengue virus outbreak has killed hundreds of people in Uttar Pradesh, prompting strict action by the authorities.
To date, no tested vaccine or treatment is available to stop or prevent dengue fever. Thus, with an ability to accurately predict or determine Dengue Shock Syndrome is important. So, as we all know that the prevention of Dengue is dependent on controlling the species of mosquitoes that cause it, namely the Aedes mosquito.
With emerging technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), may also play a critical role in combating the disease. So, will the use of AI prevent dengue deaths ?
A young Indian Doctor-Scientist, Dr. Abhijit Ray, has come up with an AI/ML based solution, that helps deal with the seriousness of Dengue and removes uncertainty, helping administration, doctors and patients.
Dangue deaths: Severe cases of Dengue which lead to fatalities are caused due to hemorrhagic shock caused by a phenomenon that is known as thrombocytopenia induced bleeding. What this means is that the blood platelet count in the body reaches a very low level which then does not allow the required oxygen and nutrients to reach cells in our bodies to carry out basic functions. This is described as the cell being in a state of shock. In the case of Dengue, this is known as Dengue Shock Syndrome or DSS. DSS is what causes deaths in the cases of severe Dengue fever.
The relationship between the loss of blood platelets and when it results in severe Dengue Shock Syndrome has been tough to clearly determine. This means that physicians across the world have found it difficult to predict the patients that would succumb to DSS, and its diagnosis is often too late.
Can we prevent Dengue related deaths through Artificial Intelligence?
The new study by Dr. Abhijit has given new dimension to the research with an aim to predict Dengue Shock Syndrome using the approach of Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. The resultant software of this study is now successfully able to make this prediction in a relatively early stage of Dengue patients who would potentially suffer with DSS.
The software uses Blood Platelets (PLT) count and Hematocrit (HCT) levels. The AI based algorithm is able to accurately determine with the PLT and HCT from the third day of a patient having Dengue fever, the probability of a patient later on having DSS.
This breakthrough research by Dr Abhijit helps in the accurate prediction of DSS influences the way at-risk patients are treated and allows medical workers to monitor and treat patients with Dengue with far more care, help planning treatment and reduce the mortality rate of Dengue fever related deaths.
The research has come as a boon at a time when the country's most populous state Uttar Pradesh is frantically battling Dengue, while the killer virus has been spreading its tentacles in the country.
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