Using diagnostic AI in pediatric clinics - taking the first step towards health equity
Croup remains one of the top 5 causes of hospitalisations in children. Using AI-driven diagnostic solutions such as ResApp can dramatically reduce hospitalisations in India.
Diagnosing Croup faster with AI – helping India heal faster
The COVID-19 pandemic made most of us over-protective of our loved ones. As soon as we hear a cough, we hurry to evacuate the shop or home we're in or don our masks to escape the deadly coronavirus. However, things are different when one of our loved ones suffers from a cough, cold or worse—Croup.
Of every 100 children admitted to the ER annually, 1.5 to 6 per 100 children younger than six years are due to Croup, making it a common disease in the fall and winter months. Although flu vaccination in urban areas has caused a sharp drop in the number of cases of Croup, the numbers continue to surge in rural areas, where up to 75% of pediatric hospital visits in the winter are due to Croup or other upper respiratory tract infections.
What is Croup?
Croup is an umbrella term that includes multiple conditions affecting the bronchi, trachea and larynx. These common childhood illnesses include laryngotracheobronchopneumonitis, laryngotracheitis, laryngotracheobronchitis, and spasmodic Croup. It is an acute respiratory infection that causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, resulting in a cough with a sound resembling a seal's bark. Croup primarily affects the larynx, bronchi and trachea and is most prevalent in fall and winter.
What causes Croup?
Croup can be caused due to multiple reasons. These include viruses, bacteria, allergies, GERD, breathing in powder or the presence of foreign objects. Viral infections caused by parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, rhinoviruses, and syncytial viruses amount to over 75% of Croup cases, followed by spasmodic Croup is an indirect reaction to a viral infection. In addition, Croup can also be caused through bacterial infections by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Staphylococcus aureus and Haemophilus influenzae.
What are the symptoms of Croup?
Viral Croup initially begins with a common cold—with symptoms that include fever, runny nose and sore throat that worsen progressively. Children find it difficult to fall asleep, talk, get irritable, and in severe cases, may require hospitalisation. The characteristic symptoms of Croup include the following:
High-pitched sound while breathing (inspiratory stridor)
Cough with barking sound
Darker-than-usual skin tone due to lack of oxygen
Problems talking and eating
Cyanosis (blue tinge around the lips and mouth)
How is Croup diagnosed?
Doctors can easily diagnose Croup through physical examination and tests. Auscultation or listening to chest sounds using a stethoscope is the quickest way to analyse chest sounds and identify Croup. Doctors may also ask for x-rays of the chest and throat to rule out any impaction of a foreign body that may cause this problem. Doctors may also require CT scans to rule out stridor for babies younger than six months.
AI-powered diagnostics to the rescue
Today, modern, AI-driven diagnostic techniques such as ResApp can help parents and physicians quickly diagnose their child's condition through cough sounds. All the child does is cough 5 times, and the intelligent algorithms in ResApp quickly analyse the condition. This helps healthcare providers and anxious parents get timely screening and accurate diagnosis of the ailment, which is essential to improve disease outcomes in children.
The first and foremost way to help children recover is to place them in a calm and reassuring atmosphere. This allows the child to relax and recover faster. Further, there are multiple treatment regimens for Croup. Patients with low SpO2 levels are recommended oxygen therapy using stationary or portable oxygen concentrators. Most incidents of Croup are treated with steroids, corticosteroids, mist inhalation and increasing fluid intake. Note that only your doctor can help you understand the most suitable treatment regimen for your child.
How can Sanrai help?
Less than 17 percent of mothers and children in the poorest fifth of households in rural India received at least six of seven essential maternal and child health interventions, compared to 74 percent for the wealthiest fifth of households. This makes AI-driven diagnostic techniques from Sanrai the need of the hour, as most rural and urban households own at least one mobile phone. Additionally, rural health clinics can use technologies such as ResApp to diagnose triage and assist those suffering from Croup, Asthma and COPD faster than ever before—without relying on specialists that may sometimes take days to arrive.
India's health problems are a perfect fit for Sanrai's five-point solution. Sanrai's solution provides:
Innovative disruptive tech AI-enabled to promote early screening
Device-based therapeutic solutions
Better outcome management
Sanrai is an innovative organisation leveraging the power of IoT, AI and ML to revolutionise healthcare and diagnostics. Using innovative products such as ResApp and Smart Peak Flow Meter, Sanrai is set to bring the gold standard of healthcare and diagnostics to emerging markets worldwide—driving global health equity.