The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) along with Intel India and International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad is working together to come up with a faster and less expensive COVID-19 testing and coronavirus genome sequencing to find an effective cure. The teams will also work on an AI-based risk model for patients. .
“Intel India is developing an end-to-end system that consists of multiple applications, testing devices, data collection and aggregation gateways, a data exchange SDK and an AI model-hub platform,” as per a statement by the Ministry of Science & Technology.
“Multi-disciplinary partnerships are key to tackling the challenge of COVID-19 and CSIR is happy to collaborate with IIIT-Hyderabad and Intel India which bring in complementary strengths in genomics, big data and AI,” said Dr Shekhar C Mande, DG CSIR.
CSIR constituent labs will work with hospitals in carrying out diagnostics while IIIT-Hyderabad will develop ‘risk stratification’ algorithms that can help in drug and vaccine discovery for long term preparedness to fight the disease.
CSIR has also sanctioned a project to develop human monoclonal antibodies as therapy for COVID-19 infections. The project was sanctioned by CSIR under its flagship programme NMITLI (New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative) to a consortium led by Bharat Biotech. With this project, CSIR is looking at an alternate therapeutic regimen by generating effective and specific human antibodies that can neutralise the SARS-CoV2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Durgapur-based CSIR lab, Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute has created a robotic device called HCARD or Hospital Care Assistive Robotic Device to help frontline healthcare workers in maintaining physical distance from those infected by coronavirus.
This robot can be controlled and monitored by a nursing booth with a control station having such features as navigation, drawer activation for providing medicines and food to patients, sample collection and audio-visual communication. The cost of this device is less than Rs 5 lakh and the weight is less than 80 kilograms.