Since the first report on the new coronavirus (Covid-19) in the Chinese province of Uhan, it has spread to hundreds of countries around the world.
With the outbreak of the epidemic, China relied on its strong technological infrastructure, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analysis to monitor and combat the pandemic, while major tech giants such as Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei and others have taken similar initiatives. As a result, technology startups have begun collaborating with clinicians and government entities around the world to explore the technological capabilities that exist to halt the pandemic.
Here are ten ways that artificial intelligence, data analysis and technology in general are used in the battle against Covid-19:
Identification, monitoring and predicting cases
The better we detect cases of the virus, the better we fight it. Through the analysis of press releases, social networks and government documents. Canadian startup BlueDot is such an example of a start-up company that monitors cases of the virus. It is a fact that BlueDot’s artificial intelligence platform warned several days before the Canadian Infectious Disease Prevention Center about the risk of spreading the virus.
Diagnosis of the virus
The artificial intelligence company Infervision developed a solution that allows medical staff to detect and monitor the behavior of the virus effectively. Hospital diagnostic departments have been heavily burdened by outbreaks, and this solution contributes to better visualization of X-rays, one of the ways to diagnose the virus. Chinese Alibaba has developed an artificial intelligence solution that claims to be 96% accurate in diagnosing the virus in seconds.
Minimizing hospital bureaucracy
It is not only the medical staff and diagnostic departments who are burdened by the high number of cases. The bureaucratic services of hospitals are in the same situation, and artificial intelligence can help to better categorize incidents and minimize direct patient contact with hospital staff.
Drones carry medical equipment, medicines
One of the fastest and safest ways to supply a country or hospital with medicines and equipment is through drones. SkyCell is a company that manufactures small storage media that can transport drugs, hardware and software. Drones can also be used to monitor population movement in quarantine areas or to monitor quarantine in general.
Disinfection with robots
Robots cannot stick this particular virus, so they can be used to disinfect the premises and transport drugs to remote areas where human contact is not allowed. Blue Ocean Robotics’ robots use special lighting that eliminates bacteria and viruses from the surfaces. In China, Pudu has developed robots, previously used in the supply chain, to help more than 40 hospitals worldwide.
Drug, vaccine development
Google’s DeepMind division used its artificial intelligence algorithms to identify the proteins that form the virus’s genetic code. Benevolent uses artificial intelligence systems to develop drugs that will help people fight diseases and other (systems) that will help the medical community develop the coronavirus vaccine.
Intelligent materials that protect
Companies like Israel’s Sonovia hope to strengthen the medical community and health care institutions with face masks made of anti-pathogenic and antibacterial materials.
Although it has generated a lot of backlash, the Chinese regime has used smart surveillance systems to identify those who are affected but are not quarantined. The Chinese can still download an app that, depending on the circumstance, informs them whether they should stay home restricted or not.
Chat-bots for informing
Tencent, which manages the WeChat social networking platform, allows people to visit it for free. Through the platform, citizens communicate with chat-bots informing them of travel instructions and bans in force.
Supercomputers for vaccine
Cloud computing and supercomputers from companies like Tencent, DiDi and Huawei are being used by researchers to rapidly develop the coronavirus vaccine. The speed and processing power of these systems are much higher than conventional computers.