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Artificial intelligence-enabled microscope to diagnose malaria in Malkangiri district

It’s yet to be made operational. We are now feeding it with nearly 200 slides of blood tests, says chief medical officer

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 19.09.23, 06:57 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File photo

An artificial intelligence-enabled microscope has been installed in the tribal-dominated Malkangiri district headquarters hospital for the swift diagnosis of malaria.

Chief Medical Officer(CDMO), Malkangiri, Prafulla Kumar Nanda told The
Telegraph: “This is the first such artificial intelligence-enabled microscope in the state and it has been installed in our hospital on a pilot basis. To the best of my knowledge, nowhere in India, such a microscope based on artificial intelligence has been installed so far.”


Nanda said: “It’s yet to be made operational. We are now feeding it with nearly 200 slides of blood tests related to malaria. Once the feeding is complete, we will start its operation.

“The results of malaria tests will be known within a second with its help. It can diagnose malaria with clinical accuracy. It will easily differentiate the plasmodium genus responsible for malaria.”

Bombay IIT has created this AI model. A startup, with the support of IIT Bombay, developed it and marketed it. This was first installed here on a pilot basis, sources said.

Malaria cases are high in Malkangiri in southern Odisha, located around 600km from here.

“In 2016, as many as 40,439 malaria cases were reported in the district. Due to targeted interventions and public awareness, the number of cases has drastically gone down and only 4, 816 cases were reported in 2022.

“In the annual parasitic index (number of malaria cases per one thousand), Malkangiri’s number was 60 and its number in the index nosedived to 6.8,” said Nanda.

In 2022, Odisha reported 6,709 (Malkangiri reportedly 4,816) cases, which was around 22 per cent of the country’s total malaria cases. Odisha was second among states recording high malaria cases after Chhattisgarh.

Malkangiri, Rayagada, Koraput, Boudh, and Kandhamal are the districts where targeted interventions were made to reduce the number of malaria cases.

More than 1.16 crore nets were distributed as a protective measure to check the rising trend of malaria in these areas.

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