Artificial Intelligence vs. The Coronavirus Pandemic

March 20, 2020
The utilization of AI and machine learning services and data science technologies by artificial intelligence development companies around the world are pushing extremes of the technology to detect, monitor, and contain the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. The development of new and effective cures using this technology is also carried out extensively.The initial report of the disease from Wuhan, China had its toll first, and it has now become a global emergency and currently, a pandemic. The rate at which the disease spreads is petrifying and has already infected other populations of at least 100 other countries, apart from China.The world as of now, is relying upon intelligent and intuitive technologies, and starting from China, it has since then leveraged its technology sector’s strong suits – especially AI and machine learning services, data science, and other technologies to counter the novel coronavirus pandemic. These technologies have been initiated with the motif to detect, monitor, and combat the pandemic.The Chinese tech giants and other companies have also implemented their strategies by harnessing these powerful technologies to expedite the healthcare initiatives acting out the role of artificial intelligence development companies.Even massive collaborations are carried out with global clinicians, academics, and government bodies by tech startups. The vitality of this integral involvement among such organizations is certain in ways conceivable to develop and activate futuristic technology as a countermeasure to the rapidly spreading pandemic.So how are these technologies purposed in accomplishing a perfect containment to combat the COVID-19 pandemic?Detection, Monitoring, and Forecast of the OutbreaksWithout an efficient monitoring facility for the coronavirus, there seems to be no way to conceive an effectual combat strategy to counter this epidemic. As a result, news reports, social media platforms, and government documents are analyzed at substantial scales with the help of AI to learn and detect outbreaks from anywhere. A startup company specializing in monitoring and tracing contagious disease risks with the help of AI technology has been providing this as a service. This company’s AI technology had already warned about the coronavirus threat much ahead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO) issued their public warnings.Integrating AI in Diagnostics ProceduresAnother artificial intelligence development company had instigated an effective solution using AI and machine learning services for helping front-line healthcare workers to efficiently identify and monitor the disease. It was developed due to the steep climb in the workload faced by healthcare organizations’ imaging departments, which have become draining on them due to the novel coronavirus. As a result, this solution was built to considerably enhance the diagnosis speed in CT scans. A Chinese e-commerce company has also developed a similar diagnosis system that is powered by AI which has a claimed 96% accuracy rate and is capable of detecting the virus within seconds.Faster Healthcare Claims ProcessingApart from the clinical operations division of healthcare systems who are already being caught up with the surge in patient numbers, there are also the other divisions such as the business and administrative wings who face a similar dilemma. So, to effectively reduce the amount of face-to-face interaction between patients and hospital employees, another technology was built using a blockchain platform. This platform has highly sped up healthcare claims processing procedures.Delivery of Medical Supplies by DronesAs drones are classified as unmanned aerial vehicles, it is also one of the most effective means of delivering medical supplies safely and in a faster manner during a disease outbreak situation. Drone manufacturing companies have now started using their unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver medical samples and quarantine material with the least possible risk between major disease control centers and hospitals. Even for patrol purposes, drones are now deployed in areas such as public spaces, or for tracking non-compliance to quarantine mandates, and for thermal imaging purposes that can detect a person’s body temperature.Advanced Protection FabricsThe healthcare officials are now armed with face masks and fabric that have anti-pathogen, anti-bacterial properties. The fabrics are made using metal-oxide nanoparticles.Automated RobotsAutomated robots are now being deployed in response to this pandemic as they aren’t vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. They can perform and complete important protocols such as sterilization procedures food delivery, which cuts the need for human-to-human contact. These robots pack an ultraviolet light under their belly and autonomously does the sterilization task of killing any pathogen present in their designated areas. The food delivery is done by catering robots of the catering industry, and they have been delivering food to many hospitals.Drug DevelopmentAI and machine learning services are highly used to develop AI algorithms and their computing power to figure out the novel coronavirus’s protein makeup and to publish these findings to develop cures for the COVID-19 pandemic. Drug development companies are now using AI systems to develop drugs that can treat coronavirus. The predictive capabilities of AI can propose treatment from existing drugs.Identifying of Non-compliant or Infected IndividualsThe use of facial recognition and temperature detection software using AI technology was integrated into sophisticated surveillance systems in China. Although this method is highly controversial in invading the privacy of an individual, it was able to identify people who were showing signs of fever and more likely to carry the virus. Officials were also armed with "smart helmets" with thermal imaging to identify fever-struck people. Big data was also used to develop a monitoring system that analyzes the travel history, time spent on virus hotspots, and potential exposure to people carrying the virus. This system was developed and used by the Chinese Government to identify and assesses the risk factor of each individual. Popular mobile apps are used to assign citizens with a risk factor based on color codes (red, yellow, or green). When the apps are used, this color code will indicate whether or not an individual has to be quarantined or should be allowed in public.AI ChatbotsThe popular mobile apps in China provides free online health consultation services that can be availed by people while accessing the apps. Chatbots powered by AI has also been an essential means of communication. The assistance of these chatbots is used by travel and tourism industry service providers. These chatbots were able to update travelers regarding the latest travel procedures and disruptions.Coronavirus Vaccine Development using SupercomputersMajor Chinese tech companies are now using cloud computing resources and supercomputers that can fast-track the development of a cure or vaccine for fighting the novel coronavirus. These systems perform at breakneck speeds and can run calculations and model solutions in the blink of an eye.This is how the global COVID-19 pandemic is being fought using technologies such as AI, and data science. The outbreak is now being dealt in the most efficient manner proving it has been vital in helping communities of every aspect.