Health Ministry explores AI for combating tuberculosis

  1. The Central tuberculosis(TB) Division of the health ministry has signed an MoU with the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence to explore the application of Artificial Intelligence(AI) technology in its fight against the TB disease.
  2. The areas that AI based applications can support are in vulnerability and hot-spot mapping, modelling novel methods of screening and diagnostics apart from supporting the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) in adoption of other AI technologies.
  3. TB is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.As per the 2018 annual report of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,the incidence of TB in India was nearly 2.8 million annually and the total number of deaths by TB was over 5 lakhs.
  4. India contributes 27% of the global TB burden which is the highest share globally.In this background,the central government had committed itself to eliminating TB by 2025.
  5. Artificial Intelligence is a way of making a computer, computer-controlled robot or software perform human-like tasks.It refers to the ability of machines to perform cognitive tasks like thinking, perceiving, learning, problem solving and decision making.