George Maponga in Masvingo
Two Masvingo computer experts have designed a computer system they say will give impetus to the fight against Covid-19 as their software can differentiate ordinary pneumonia from the one induced by the novel virus that is sweeping across the world like a plague.
Mr Pardon Mukoyi(22) who is an ex-Computer Science student at Great Zimbabwe University and Mr Wisdom Murombo(23),a third year in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering student at NUST claim they developed a system known as Covid-19 Pneumonia Diagnostic System which also helps monitor the disease’s(pneumonia) progression in those infected with coronavirus.
Their system, which according to them, is able to interpret chest X-rays to diagnose Covid-19 induced pneumonia is key in the early assessment stages as it is able to pick out coronavirus-induced pneumonia.
The pair recently hogged international limelight after coming second out of more than eight countries that participated in the 9th International Competition of Appropriate Technology(ICAT) that was held virtually last week because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The system, also known as Covid-19 C-Ray Diagnostic System, is based on artificial intelligence and they successfully showcased it at ICAT. They walked away with a second price of $US900 after beating other budding computer scientists from countries such as Russia.
According to the pair there have many systems which they have developed and can help the nation make strides in health delivery. Mr Murombo yesterday appealed for assistance from Government to regularise their Covid-19 Induced Diagnostic System so that it can be used by local health institutions.
“We need government support so that our system is accepted as a duly registered software that can be used in local health institutions,” said Mr Murombo.
“Our hope is to closely work with the Ministry of Health and Child Care so that we can roll out our system which we hope will go a long way in stemming Covid-19 deaths through early diagnosis.”
He disclosed other systems that required funding to fine tune before they could be showcased include the one for early diagnosis of breast cancer while plans were afoot to delve into lung cancer.
“We have been in touch with some officials in the Ministry of Health and Child Care with a view to have our system regularised and approved for use in local healtg institutions and we are still waiting for a response,” said Mr Murombo.
Deputy director(Information and Surveillance)in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Mr Manes Munyanyi confirmed the duo had approached his office with their system.
Mr Munyanyi said they were interested in the alleged innovation by the two computer science experts and would invite them to make presentations on their invention.
“Yes its true I have been in touch with those guys(Murombo and Mukoyi) and we are keen to have them make a presentation on their system. We have not yet invited them to make the presentation I just went through their documents and I have since forwarded communication to the Director of Informatics in the ministry so that they can make the presentation,” said Mr Munyanyi.
“Hopefully in the near future they will be able to make a presentation so that we can see how their systems works or whether it needs further development to improve its efficacy but we are really interested in such innovation.”
Mr Munyanyi said his office welcomed innovations which extend even to other sphered of health adding that doors to his office will always be open to such innovative individuals.
If the software is finally put to test and makes the mark, it will be a major breakthrough in the local innovation sphere while also giving hope in the fight agaisnt Covid-19.
Mr Murombo said he was skilled in design and concept generation using AutoCAD, Solid Edge, Solidworks, Auto Desk Inventor and Python Programming Language.
As an Artificial Intelligence enthusiast, Mr Murombo said he passionate about incorporating machines with code(automation), use of machine learning, deep learning and convolutional neural networks techniques to solve real life problems.
He has deep passion in design and coming up with practical industrial solutions to help his community.
Mr Mukoyi is a self-declared cyber-security and Artificial Intelligence expert.