UAE develops artificial intelligence scheme to tackle tuberculosis

Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-22 16:33:38|Editor: xuxin
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DUBAI, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) started a project based on artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle serious diseases like tuberculosis, a UAE's minister said Monday.

At the second United Nations World Data Forum held in Dubai, Omar Bin Sultan Al Olama, UAE's minister of state for artificial intelligence, said unlike other deadly diseases, tuberculosis is preventable, treatable and curable.

The challenge of tackling the disease, he added, is that some patients do not show the symptoms of tuberculosis and so the threat can be more serious than expected, and "here AI comes into play."

Al Olama said his office is developing an algorithmic solution that can be used in the detection and diagnosis of tuberculosis from chest x-rays.

"X-Ray images can be sent by electronic means like the Internet or online applications and once developed, the algorithmic solution will be open to any nation to use in the fight against tuberculosis," he said.

A diagnosis team can screen every single patient even from remote places and it can pinpoint risk areas where the priority is.

"The diagnosis based on the chest x-ray will work within seconds through the algorithm," said the minister.

"A physical doctor is not needed on site and is only consulted in rare cases," explained Olama.

According to Olama, "10 million new cases of tuberculosis are recorded worldwide every year, while 2 million people die yearly because of the disease."

These statistics underline the importance of cooperation between public and private entities worldwide in developing AI solutions to tackle health challenges, said Olama.