Riyadh: At least 87 people were killed after a crane collapsed on to the Grand Mosque in the Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca, which is preparing for the Annual Haj pilgrimage, authorities said.
154 people were also injured in the accident, stated the civil defence on its twitter account. Among them 9 are Indians.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “We have received reports that 9 Indian pilgrims are injured.”
Swarup added that the Indian consulate in Jeddah is “monitoring the situation in Makkah following the tragic accident”.
Senior officers including the Indian consul-general “are on the ground in Makkah. Indian doctors are deployed in all government hospitals and ascertaining more information”, another tweet by Swarup added.
Al Arabiya television reported the cause of the crane falling to be strong sand storms which have been hitting western Saudi Arabia since the past few days.
Images on social media appear to show part of a huge crane crashed through the mosque roof. After the conclusion of the current and final expansion, the mosque could accommodate more than three million worshipers in one hour.
Mecca, the holiest city for Islam, is preparing for the annual Haj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, for which thousands of Muslims are expected to arrive from all over the world later in September.
These gatherings of millions often lead to stampedes, fires or other hazards. Saudi authorities have spent vast sums to ensure better safety and transportation, and prevent disasters.
In a novel effort to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among the Indian population, Microsoft India and Apollo Hospitals on Friday launched the first-ever Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered heart disease risk score API (application programme interface).
Part of Microsoft’s “AI Network for Healthcare” initiative, it will help doctors across the Apollo network of hospitals leverage the AI-powered API to predict risk of CVD and drive preventive cardiac care across the country.
Nearly three million heart attacks happen in India every year and 30 million Indians suffer from coronary diseases. However, even with various heart disease risk models available worldwide, doctors and cardiologists are unable to identify the probability of CVD in Indians.
“The AI-based models available worldwide were formed decades ago and are based on the western population. Our new API score is based on the data of 4,000 Indians shared by Apollo Hospitals and can easily identify the level of risk each patient has,” Anil Bhansali, Managing Director, Microsoft India (R&D), told IANS.
“We come in as a technology partner or expert in the AI domain, where we collaborate with healthcare providers and doctors to integrate data to help build the AI model,” Bhansali added.
Built on Microsoft’s Cloud computing platform Azure, the new AI-based heart risk score helps gauge a patient’s risk for heart disease and provides rich insights to doctors on treatment plans and early diagnosis.
The API score considers 21 risk factors including lifestyle attributes such as diet, tobacco and smoking preferences and physical activity as well as psychological stress and anxiety as reflected via rate of respiration, hypertension and systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
“The score categorises risk into high, moderate and minimal and also provides insights on the top modifiable risk contributors, thereby assisting physicians to consult patients in a more holistic way, while providing insights to patients for lifestyle modification and timely interventions,” Bhansali elaborated.
When a patient goes for a cardio health check, the doctor can build up a more accurate cardio-vascular health profile of the patient based on Machine Learning (ML) of all their previous patient data.
AI can, in turn, predict future coronary ailments the patient might experience in the next 10 to 20 years based on these multiple factors.
“This heart risk score for Indian populace is a true example of how precision healthcare can accelerate prevention of cardio-vascular disease and reduce disease burden,” Bhansali noted.
According to Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals, the partnership is aimed at designing new tools and equip doctors in the fight against non-communicable diseases.
“The amalgamation of AI and ML with the global expertise of our doctors will help prevent heart disease, save lives and ensure those with heart disease can make informed choices on their health,” Reddy said in a statement.
Besides Apollo, Microsoft is also planning to extend the AI model to other healthcare providers.
“While we are currently working with Apollo, we are also in the process of identifying partners where we can actually try this API score,” Bhansali told IANS.
“In the last couple of years we have been working on how Cloud technology, particularly AI, can help in reducing the overall disease burden. Our first step towards this, as part of the healthcare partnership, is developing the cardiac risk score for Indian population,” Bhansali added. (IANS)