Can Artificial Intelligence Help in the Battle Against the Coronavirus?
The world today is facing a deadly virus known as COVID-19. It has been terrorizing almost every part of the world, and the reach of this threat is pushing the healthcare community to a fast and relentless search for a panacea. The ultimate goal is to fight the virus and put a stop to the spread. Tech giants are now seeking additional help and are considering if AI can be of good use when it comes to beating the coronavirus.
The Possible Ways AI Can Help Fight COVID-19
For years, the use of AI in the healthcare industry has been instrumental. However, the question now remains: can we use artificial intelligence to save us from the threats of COVID-19?
Mapping the Disease Occurrence – When the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus affected people in 2003, most of the people in the healthcare industry did not know what to do as the virus spread globally, infecting thousands of people. Thankfully, some researchers were able to harness the powers of AI to create a disease mapping tool, HealthMap, which obtains data from different sources to recognize disease-affected countries and to predict where the virus would strike next.
Experts receive helpful information from HealthMap and other AI-powered technologies can predict where they could give out the most needed help.
Treatment and Monitoring of Disease with Drones and Robots – While symptoms of COVID-19 are highly similar to that of the flu, it has a higher transmissibility rate. As such, remote patient treatment and monitoring can be very useful. Therefore, the use of drones and robots powered by AI technology can help doctors provide treatment to those in need without the need for physical contact. Some of the less severe cases of COVID-19 can be monitored by robots powered by artificial intelligence technology, so the doctors and nurses would be reserved for those with serious complications.
Robots can perform disinfection of areas used for treating affected patients, deliver medications, and monitor quarantined and isolated people. Automated robots can assist in bringing medical help and other goods to dangerous areas.
In a similar manner, drones hover and patrol areas to ensure people will follow regulations in the quarantine. Drones can also aid in carrying out green house cleaning in areas with a high number of positive cases.
Rapid Diagnosis and Detection of Patients with Coronavirus – Alibaba created the latest AI technology that is able to detect the presence of COVID-19 infection in patients with high accuracy. Artificial intelligence can help healthcare workers analyze the output of patients’ imaging scans. With this type of technology, it can come up with a faster diagnosis.
Furthermore, Alibaba also offered Alibaba Cloud, which has real-time AI translation that can help doctors from all over the world to share their outlook, experiences, and recommendations. With it, they would have a platform where they can get instant diagnosis and detection of the disease. Rapid detection is crucial to lessen the rate of transmissibility of the coronavirus.
Faster Discovery of Drugs Against Coronavirus – Drug manufacturers were already utilizing AI to come up with medications for diseases. By browsing drug databases and current health records, AI systems can see which would work against an ailment. They can match the disease manifestations with a corresponding successful treatment procedure to come up with a prediction. This rapid drug discovery is most crucial today when scientists, researchers, and almost everyone in the world is in need of the cure that would be effective in combating the disease.
Streamlined Drug Trials – Now, researchers are scrambling to find a successful vaccine for COVID-19. However, one of the challenges they have to endure are drug trials. And this is where AI can be of use. AI technology can streamline the process by employing algorithms to predict the result of clinical tests.
One drug company uses AI technology that gathers data from previous studies to recognize disease presentations while consolidating drug efficacy. Through drug simulations, it helps them streamline the process of drug trials that commonly takes weeks to months to see the results. And for COVID-19 that relies on rapid drug development, this is crucial. The AI can look at different algorithms to see which of the drugs in development can potentially be effective against the coronavirus.
Regardless of advancements in technology, particularly AI, it is still not enough to replace what our healthcare workers can do. While it may help suppress the problem, it needs to work on gathering accurate and well-parsed data. Since COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, the data is still scarce.
Technology can contribute to ease the tasks of healthcare practitioners. It is also a protection for workers to lessen the chances of them getting the disease from affected individuals. But it is still best for people to take safety precautions. And yes, washing your hands can help.