Pakistan develops software that detects coronavirus from chest x-rays

The software can analyze the x-ray within seconds and give its finding right away  

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved “Cov-raid”, a locally developed software that is said to have the capability of “detecting the novel coronavirus in a person’s lungs within a minute”. The software was developed by the National Electronics Complex of Pakistan and will soon be available for use in Pakistan.

DRAP CEO Dr. Asim Rauf said that the development will have a significant impact. “The local invention of Cov-raid is a major achievement. It will have a significant contribution,” Rauf said. “This [technology] is available in only a few countries in the world. Pakistan will supply the Cov-raid technology to various countries.”

According to the website of National Electronics Complex of Pakistan, the software can detect pneumonia caused by COVID-19 within a matter of seconds. The quick results can help lower the spread of the virus.

“Our system analyses chest X-ray images in seconds and [uses] suspicious lesions and abnormalities to help diagnose pneumonia caused by Covid-19. The model, in particular, is optimised in detecting interstitial opacity, effusion, and nodule based on data of confirmed patients,” the website read. “The existence of portable chest X-ray machines [in remote areas/towns/cities/isolated places will enable] reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission during the mobility of a patient,” it added.

National Electronics Complex also believe that the software will help in determining geographic clusters and precautions can be taken in the identified areas. It can also help the government in applying its smart lockdown strategy used in certain parts of the country where highly affected areas are closed for a period of two weaks.

“Furthermore, portable setups for chest X-ray can be quite effective in determining the geographic clusters of COVID-19 and patients may be instructed to stay at home for effective disease control, until the onset of advanced symptoms.”

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