Artificial intelligence could play a decisive role in stopping the Covid-19 pandemic. We have come across promising endeavors starting from mining for insights through tracking the Covid-19 spread to detecting the infection via coughs.
1. A.I. predicting outbreaks
A.I. company(BlueDot) issued the first warnings of the Coronavirus outbreak, a little after midnight on 30 Dec 2019, whose reports were then analyzed by epidemiologists. The software even correctly predicted the virus’s likely path from Wuhan to Tokyo after it first appeared.
2. Aiding in diagnosis
A.I. can help in the screening and triage of relevant patients in these cases and alleviate the pressure on hospitals.
In China, the Zhongnan Hospital used an A.I. software program to detect signs of pneumonia associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections on images from lung CT scans.
Researchers from San Francisco launched "Cough for the Cure", which aimed to develop a COVID-19 diagnostic tool based on cough audio.
3. Resource management & predicting severe outcomes
Qventus developed a software program that takes into consideration the patient influx from COVID-19 and the related deaths and forecasts its effect on the hospital’s capacity like beds, ICU, and ventilator capacity.
Another model uses real patient data to determine who will develop acute respiratory distress syndrome and achieved 70% to 80% accuracy in predicting severe cases.
4. Speeding up vaccine research
In a move to put medical research around COVID-19 on the fast track, Microsoft and others set up a free, comprehensive database (COVID-19 Open Research Dataset - CORD-19) with over 29,000 related scientific articles.
It’s important to note that in these settings, A.I. alone is not the solution.
In the case of BlueDot for instance, the algorithm reported on trends would take considerably longer time by a human. Once these trends were found, it was human epidemiologists who analyzed them to give a definite verdict.