Once Prince Charles said, “There's nothing like a jolly good disaster to get people to start doing something”. It's indeed true! Disaster brings about evolution. The difficult times leave us with a single option and we are obliged to try it. One such undeniable option in the current times is Artificial Intelligence.
AI was making its slow strides in the past few years. In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is rocketing to new levels. Machine learning is a subset of Artificial Intelligence and deep learning is a subset of Machine learning. These technologies are instrumental in battling the deadly virus.
Many countries have started adopting AI ways to detect, monitor, and collect data during the spread of coronavirus. Without AI, one cannot think of achieving the current success rate in handling the tough period. Many advanced techniques are in progress and AI is going to help us in a post-COVID-19 world too. Here’s a rundown on how AI is spearheading Healthcare sector in fighting the pandemic:
AI algorithm identified Coronavirus Outbreak:
A Canadian Start-up identified the coronavirus outbreak using Artificial Intelligence and gave an early alert before anyone else in the world. The firm named ‘Bluedot’ devised an AI algorithm that analyzed plenty of stories on the internet and found the emergence of the mysterious virus. Without further ado, it gave a clarion call on December 31, 2019, even before the official statements came from China.
Taiwan’s success model using AI:
Taiwan is a small country situated very near to China, the epicenter of Coronavirus. Taiwan is the No.1 successful country to curb coronavirus. You will be surprised to know the COVID-19 numbers of Taiwan. Just 445 confirmed cases and 7 deaths. Of all, just 4 people are getting treated. How did they contain the virus? Even though it is a small country, it was clever enough to use technological methods to prevent the spread. They tracked, tested, and traced the contacts strictly.
One of the methods they adopted was using Artificial Intelligence. Taiwan utilized AI to broadcast Real-time information and prevented fake news by fact-checking with the collaboration of companies like MyGoPen and Taiwan Factcheck center. Unlike other countries, where infodemic was fastly spreading than coronavirus, Taiwan took a stringent action using AI to eliminate fake information.
South Korea’s Fast Approval of Test Kits using AI:
Next to Taiwan, the world looks up to the South Korean model in combating the novel coronavirus. Swiftness is what technology gives and the same swiftness is all it takes to suppress the spread of the virus. South Korea approved test kits in weeks using AI methods. If a conventional model had followed, it would have taken 2 to 3 months to release the testing kits. A Biotech company in Seoul named Seegene has helped the government in adopting AI methods.
Coronavirus genome identification using AI:
Back in the day, whenever a new disease rises, it takes several months to reproduce the genome sequence. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, using AI methods, scientists were able to produce it in weeks. A genome sequence is vital to study the DNA of the microorganism - How it grows, multiplies, or how it functions like a living creature. This gives a pathway on how to proceed and treat the affected individuals.
Artificial intelligence-based diagnostic tool:
Infravision, an AI company devised a solution to identify and monitor the virus. Also, with lakhs of infected persons, doctors, and healthcare professionals would be swarmed in the pool of scans. It becomes tough to scan each and everyone for them manually. AI-based tools can help in taking CT scans and they could release results faster.
As frontline workers are in danger of contracting the lethal virus, these AI tools can help detect the virus without any humans which in turn reduces the human infection rate. Also, in the future, these tools will prevail as major bridging things that test patients on a regular basis eliminating human intervention to complete the tasks.
Tracking Patients using AI:
After identifying the contacts and putting them in quarantine, one cannot track each and every individual whether they are following rules or transgressing. This is where AI comes, mobile apps trace their whereabouts and any diversion from the place will alert the officials. Also, these apps map out the areas where infections are high so that people can get aware of them.
Impending AI Advancements that will help the Healthcare Sector:
According to Livemint “AI in the healthcare industry is set to become a $36.1 bn market by end of 2025”. There are much-needed AI advancements to fight the pandemic and obviously this will increase the demand for AI-based tools and applications. Let us some of the cutting-edge AI developments that are highly likely to happen in the healthcare sector:
We are not far away from using Robots. This pandemic has expedited the arrival of robots in large numbers. To avoid the spread and to carry out some redundant tasks, Robots will take charge. Voice assistant robots will identify symptoms of the patients, give instructions, clear doubts of the people, and will carry out testing procedures in the future. It will also help in frequent sterilization of the hospitals and other places. These robots will assist healthcare professionals in various ways.
Thermal cameras are used for some time now. But it wasn’t that effective as it needs a human to make it work. Cameras with Artificial Intelligence technology can easily detect people with high temperature, recognize faces, track the motion, and identify whether the person is wearing the mask or not. Soon AI cameras will come into action in the real world.
Detecting the pattern and spread of the virus:
Even though the virus is one, there are different variants of the coronavirus. In India, Gujarat recently found the nine mutations of the virus. Of which, only three are prevailing in India and the other six are found in other countries. Some mutated viruses are aggressive to cause death fast and some are not. The mutation of coronavirus is rapid and changing fast. So, we should identify the different variations and give treatment accordingly. AI-based tools will play a significant role in the fast identification of mutations.
This is just the beginning of AI transformation. There is a lot more that AI can do and will do. Had it not been AI and other technology-driven methods, we could not have achieved this level. Though this itself is drastic and cannot imagine a more drastic world without Technology. AI is here to stay and will outlive the pandemic. With further developments, the world will get more strength from AI algorithms, tools, and platforms and will destroy the coronavirus with no traces left.