How Artificial Intelligence can help Combat Coronavirus Outbreak
“Stay at home to save lives” has become the norm of 2020. Coronavirus or COVID-19, the reason behind this norm has caused global panic and scientists and doctors all over the world are looking for a way to combat coronavirus.
A virus is not something that is hitting the world for the first time however, the way we develop solutions for fighting such a virus is changing. With the inception of AI, the way we look and treat this virus is getting revolutionized.
From integrating technologies in various industries, to achieving new safety standards, AI algorithms have been used by almost every sector, be it automobile, education or retail and e-commerce. But, what about the integration of AI with the healthcare sector?
AI tools against coronavirus are evolving as a concept and machine learning is not being used for predicting various components related to coronavirus such as warning people of the irregular symptoms of this virus or predicting where in the world could it spread next.
Not just tech leaders, but various tech start-ups are integrating with various coronavirus testing hospitals and clinics to come up with a joint solution to fight coronavirus.
Here’s how Artificial Intelligence can be used to combat the novel Coronavirus:
Algorithms created to predict the outbreak of the pandemic
With the help of all the data present with the government regarding the virus, the news and journals that are published along with the most trending posts on social media, artificial intelligence can create an integrated report on which places are the virus expected to hit next and how much time will it take for the same to take place. It can also be used to detect the extent of the outbreak.
Coming up with innovative solutions to conduct testing
AI algorithms are expected to come up with ingenious ideas to enable a person to get tested at their homes itself. This will not only lead to medical infrastructure and personnel being spared for the needy but will also help in social distancing. Some solutions that have already been implemented in various parts of the globe include:
- An app that will use the fingerprint of the person to determine their temperature and accordingly come up with results for further testing.
- An X-Ray image dataset created by Dr. Joseph Coren that will allow one to understand and capture those who are tested positive for coronavirus at the preliminary stage itself.
Propagate awareness and diminish the spread of false information
With the number of communication channels increasing every day, the speed with which rumors and misinformation spread also increases. Such fake news causes unwanted panic and stress in every nation of the world. In the era of technology, it has been easy to mitigate such news. In fact, Google has been working to remove as many biased information, conspiracies, and false publications from its platform. Platforms like YouTube take the user directly to the World Health Organization website on one click to prevent miscommunication.
Diagnosis of the virus
AI can help us speed up the process of discovery and development of the drug. This essentially involves the creation of a copy of the virus using its genome sequence. Tests would be conducted on this copy to come up with potential situations to reduce or completely negate the effects of the virus. AI will also help researchers download the data created freely all over the world which would boost the contribution towards fighting coronavirus.
Faster delivery of medical supplies and equipment
With the development of technology, medical supplies can be delivered faster and even at the doorstep of the patients using drones. Such methods of supply not only ensure efficiency but also turn out to be a safe method of delivery compared to manually transferring goods. Many companies are contributing to delivering supplies to quarantine centers using drones.
While we discuss how machine learning and algorithms are aiding in the fight against coronavirus, here are a few established companies and tech start-ups who are also contributing towards this cause.
- Alibaba: Alibaba has come up with an AI system that has a 96% accuracy rate of detecting the presence of the virus. It does so by using the CT scan of the suspected patient’s test. This AI system is said to be cutting down the entire procedure of identifying the virus to a minimum time of just 20 seconds which without this algorithm would be 15 minutes.
- BlueDot: This AI database company managed to predict the virus using its AI monitored algorithm and its own language processor to analyze the hefty amount of information from various databases and sources and can track big chunks of infectious diseases. Not only did BlueDot manage to send us warning signals before the World Health Organization, but it also predicted which Asian countries should brace for impact by analyzing the travel history of those infected.
- Benevolent AI: This British start-up created algorithms that managed to connect the molecular structure data along with biomedical intelligence to identify potential drugs that can be developed. It identified compounds that could efficiently create an obstruction in the cellular path that the virus travels through to create more particles. It is now being tested for further manufacturing and use.
- UVD Robots: This Denmark based tech company is providing hospitals with their robots to ensure that the rooms can be disinfected without any human being at the risk of being exposed to the disease. These robots function by emitting ultraviolet light over the areas that need to be disinfected and thus removing the virus from the surface.
- Insilico Medicine: This Hong-Kong based medical company used an AI-based drug discovery platform to develop thousands of novel molecules that could crunch themselves on a particular SARS-CoV-2 protein that could potentially block the virus’s ability to multiply itself. They’re also creating drugs that could help in boosting the immunity system of the elderly and population.
AI is expected to aid in the battle against coronavirus to the extent that organizations like the UN and WHO are investing hefty sums towards developing such technology. As many people say, a 21st-century problem requires a 21st-century solution. Let us know your opinion about the integration of AI and coronavirus in the comment section below!