- April 21, 2020
- Posted by:
- Category: Artificial Intelligence
“Artificial Intelligence & Genetic applied Science are making it easier, faster and cheaper to understand how the virus spreads, how to manage it, and how to contain its devastating effects.” -Sergey Young, founder of Longevity Vision Fund
As the novel CoronaVirus spreads its heat globally, researchers and scientists from every nook and corner of the world are striving to seek novel methods to defeat the pandemic and save mankind.
Besides accommodating brilliant doctors and expertise in medical and healthcare, technology again has allied with the humans to cease the continuation of the weeks of blood, sweat, and tears, witnessed ever since 2020 made a head start.
Technology is playing a critical role in fighting the COVID-19 outbreak. While not “dominant”, researchers, public health workers and first responders around the world are using artificial intelligence and data science to treat or stop the virus from spreading.
The healthcare and scientific community, backed up by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, echo the high hopes to win the global war against the novel disease and expect to fill the gaps that science still leaves.
Let’s explore the impact of the technology implemented so far:
AI, its Descendants and the New CoronaVirus
#Identification of Critical Points of Potential Corona Outbreak
Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), geographic information systems, and data mining have been used since the start of the outbreak to help health authorities assess people’s movements from “ground zero” “in Hubei province.
Companies like BlueDot, for example, have applied AI to track and anticipate where COVID-19 is most likely to occur in the future based on a variety of sources. The brand also predicted other Asian city outbreaks via real-time data analytics of flight paths and itineraries.
This information has then been used to advise public health officials, help them take the most appropriate preventive measures, and prepare to focus resources where they are most needed.
Ahead of the US Center of Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), it was December 31st when BlueDot sent out a warning to its worldwide customers to avoid Wuhan, warning them about the contagious disease.
HealthMap, an AI-powered tool developed by a team of researchers, gathers and integrates data from Google searches, social media posts/content, and many discussion forums and provides useful information over the first signs of the outbreak.
IRCAI under the auspices of UNESCO has launched CoronaVirus Media Watch, a media surveillance platform to display requisite open online information and global updates. The back support for the tool is offered by OECD and Event Registry for people to observe the new trends of the Corona movement around the globe.
#Research to Treat, Prevent and Cure COVID-19
While there is still no specific drug to treat coronavirus, several antivirals used against Ebola and HIV have shown promise. At this point, companies that use AI for drug discovery and biomarker development become highly relevant.
Insilico Medicine’s AI-based technology is currently analyzing COVID-19 at the molecular level and has been providing researchers with feedback on molecules that may have the ability to counteract the virus.
Exploring biomedicines, cures and researches are based on tremendous amounts of data, a great number of techniques, a long series of testing where AI plays its part in the continuity of search and research.
AI-generated predictions of virus structure have given scientists aid in reducing the months of experimentation if done manually. AI and its subsets have made a remarkable contribution to the study of protein folding to develop a testable vaccine prototype using bioinformatics( AI, being its internal part).
The algorithm is considerably fast. Thanks to AI!
Today, these types of technologies offer the best hope for identifying effective treatments and developing vaccines.
#Assessment of Individual Risk of Exposure to the Virus
Chatbots “symptom checkers” that use ML to adapt based on the data they receive have become increasingly common in recent years. The challenge is that, given the emergence of new viruses, they must be trained using the new data they receive.
In the absence of vast information about COVID-19, symptom verification apps like Your.MD has turned to decision trees to help the general public assess their risk. Your.MD has also introduced COVID-19 Symptom Mapper that helps users to gain insights on whether they are experiencing symptoms associated with Corona.
As more scientific literature on the coronavirus is published, decision trees will likely yield to the more sophisticated approach to the machine learning algorithm.
In China, everything (and everyone) is monitored: social media posts, facial recognition in public spaces, online shopping, phone call logs, location data and more are centrally collected by the Chinese state.
The Close Contact Detector App gives delineate precision to the users if they have been in close proximity with a suspected or confirmed virus affected person.
China has extended access to this app by including it in popular apps like Alipay, WeChat, and QQ (a China-based chat service).
#AI to Aid Healthcare Personnel and Frontliners
China, which is known for its technical and technological advancements has struggled to a great extent to stabilize its economy, yet hasn’t lost hope to develop technology-powered software and tools to detect corona victims.
Chinese companies have built COVID-19 diagnostic software tools supported by the robust algorithms of AI, ML, NLP, leveraging data science.
Infervision, a startup has developed a CT scan machine and has trained it to detect lung infections in humans. Originally invented to diagnose Cancer illness, the automated tool is enabled to diagnose pneumonia associated with respiratory diseases.
The DAMO Alibaba Academy has also come up with a system that executes a myriad of AI programs to recognize virus symptoms with near accuracy of 96% and is competent enough to process 300 to 400 scans, diagnosing coronavirus in a span of 30-40 seconds. (A human specialist would take around 10 -15 minutes for the same.)
Using drones to deliver medicine, it is something that has already been successfully demonstrated in China, where an aerial drone corridor has been established between the Xinchang disease control center and its People’s Hospital. Drones have also demonstrated their effectiveness in urban surveillance tasks, urging people to “go home”.
[Prefer Reading: “How Augmented Reality is Likely to Improve Healthcare?”]
Both for people who remain isolated and cannot leave their homes, as well as for rural towns that do not have easy access to medical and food services, the use of drones was seen as not less than a blessing.
Ele.me, a food delivery service made the use of AI-enabled robots to serve quarantined people and at many other places too, machines were seen delivering food to diners, favoring contactless delivery and maintaining safety precautions.
Although, the Corona Outbreak is a scary reality, yet the power of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science gives a ray of hope to one and all, suffering with this challenging time of the new decade.
Hope I was clear on displaying the significance of AI technology in defeating COVID-19. If you have something more to share, feel free to add your comments below. We always welcome valuable data shared for our readers. Till then-