Friday January 24, 2020

AI App With Microsoft Azure to Tackle Malnutrition in India

The new app will hugely impact the early identification of children suffering from malnutrition, thereby reducing the treatment time

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Sanjay Mehta
The children of families in Saranda, Jharkhand suffer from malnutrition and malaria. Sanjay Mehta

Germany-based non-profit Welthungerhilfe has developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) smartphone app, powered by Microsoft Azure, to tackle malnutrition in India.

The Child Growth Monitor — a cloud-based app powered by Microsoft Azure and AI services — can detect malnutrition and enable health workers to identify and provide care to children suffering from chronic undernourishment.

By March, the app will help health workers scan 10,000 children under the age of five for signs of malnutrition, across Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

Twelve teams of 150 trained health workers have been provided app-enabled smartphones to collect the data of children, it added.

The app uses an infrared sensor available in some smartphones to capture 3D measurements of a child’s height, body volume and weight ratio, as well as head and upper arm circumferences down to the millimetre.

Representational image showing a malnutrition ridden child.

The app loads that captured data into Microsoft Azure. Nutritionists and IT specialists then evaluate the scans by using Microsoft AI solutions, pinpointing a child’s dietary health.

“Today, more than 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger. You can’t solve hunger if you don’t know where the hungry people are,” said Jochen Moninger, Innovation Director at the Welthungerhilfe.

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“The Child Growth Monitor app will emerge as a recognised, global solution among humanitarian organisations. In India alone, that could free up hundreds of millions of dollars for reinvestment into the lives of children,” he added.

The new app will hugely impact the early identification of children suffering from malnutrition, thereby reducing the treatment time. (IANS)

Next Story

AI-based Google Model Beats Humans in Detecting Breast Cancer

This work, said Google, is the latest strand of its research looking into detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, not just within the scope of radiology, but also pathology

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Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

In a ray of hope for those who have to go for breast cancer screening and even for healthy women who get false alarms during digital mammography, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Google model has left radiologists behind in spotting breast cancer by just scanning the X-ray results.

Reading mammograms is a difficult task, even for experts, and can often result in both false positives and false negatives.

In turn, these inaccuracies can lead to delays in detection and treatment, unnecessary stress for patients and a higher workload for radiologists who are already in short supply, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Google’s AI model spotted breast cancer in de-identified screening mammograms (where identifiable information has been removed) with greater accuracy, fewer false positives and fewer false negatives than experts.

“This sets the stage for future applications where the model could potentially support radiologists performing breast cancer screenings,” said Shravya Shetty, Technical Lead, Google Health.

Digital mammography or X-ray imaging of the breast, is the most common method to screen for breast cancer, with over 42 million exams performed each year in the US and the UK combined.

“But despite the wide usage of digital mammography, spotting and diagnosing breast cancer early remains a challenge,” said Daniel Tse, Product Manager, Google Health.

Together with colleagues at DeepMind, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Northwestern University and Royal Surrey County Hospital, Google set out to see if AI could support radiologists to spot the signs of breast cancer more accurately.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, showed that AI could improve the detection of breast cancer.

artificial intelligence, nobel prize
“Artificial intelligence is now one of the fastest-growing areas in all of science and one of the most talked-about topics in society.” VOA

Google AI model was trained and tuned on a representative data set comprised of de-identified mammograms from more than 76,000 women in the UK and more than 15,000 women in the US, to see if it could learn to spot signs of breast cancer in the scans.

The model was then evaluated on a separate de-identified data set of more than 25,000 women in the UK and over 3,000 women in the US.

“In this evaluation, our system produced a 5.7 per cent reduction of false positives in the US, and a 1.2 per cent reduction in the UK. It produced a 9.4 per cent reduction in false negatives in the US, and a 2.7 per cent reduction in the UK,” informed Google.

The researchers then trained the AI model only on the data from the women in the UK and then evaluated it on the data set from women in the US.

In this separate experiment, there was a 3.5 per cent reduction in false positives and an 8.1 per cent reduction in false negatives, “showing the model’s potential to generalize to new clinical settings while still performing at a higher level than experts”.

Notably, when making its decisions, the model received less information than human experts did.

The human experts (in line with routine practice) had access to patient histories and prior mammograms, while the model only processed the most recent anonymized mammogram with no extra information.

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Despite working from these X-ray images alone, the model surpassed individual experts in accurately identifying breast cancer.

This work, said Google, is the latest strand of its research looking into detection and diagnosis of breast cancer, not just within the scope of radiology, but also pathology.

“We’re looking forward to working with our partners in the coming years to translate our machine learning research into tools that benefit clinicians and patients,” said the tech giant. (IANS)